Tesla Guide: What is a Tesla Supercharger? – Tesla Maison

Tesla Guide: What is a Tesla Supercharger?

You've researched Tesla, learned about its 500 000 mile battery life, and fallen in love with its design. You're wondering if it is worth your time to wait for a Supercharger or to fill up a gas tank that has run out. You'll see why I am constantly raving about superchargers.

What is a Tesla Supercharger? Tesla Superchargers are 480-volt DC fast-charging stations with more than 1,200 locations in the US. Tesla Superchargers charge electric vehicles faster than any other charging station. They convert high-voltage AC power (active current) into DC power that your vehicle can use.

You'd think it was simple, right? It's not as simple as it seems. There is a lot more science behind these intelligent pieces of equipment. Let's look into the specifics of how the Tesla Supercharger works.

The History of the Supercharger

Tesla's first electric vehicle was the Roadster, a first-generation model, launched in 2008.

The car was fast, able to travel 245 miles with a single charge . At the time, this was a first for a production all-electric vehicle. It was shocking to see a company founded in 2003 produce a vehicle of a new category in just five years.

Although the company only sold 1,000 cars from 2008 to 2009 there was a clear tendency towards something innovative and new. The first ever sleek, smart, stylish, and fast electric vehicle was designed by a company. Although there have been previous successful attempts, none had looked so good and none had gone this far.

Tesla launched the Model S, a more affordable version of the Roadster, in June 2012, as a proof-of-concept. The company launched its first grid of Superchargers in the same year.

Tesla understood that in order to succeed, the EV manufacturer had to appeal to the "all-American" segment of people who love the roar of a gasoline engine and drive across the country. They needed to make it possible for people to travel long distances and not have to charge their cars overnight. The first generation of Superchargers were born.

Tesla updated its Superchargers to second generation as it released subsequent models such as the Model X, Model 3 and Model S. Now it has moved on to its third update, with V-3 chargers.

Tesla's Superchargers are available in thousands of locations around the globe, making it easy and enjoyable for EV drivers to travel and go on road trips.

Tesla also started to integrate solar-powered supercharging stations, which add shade and reduces the need for grid based charging. This is more reliable on the long term. This addition was made after Tesla acquired Solar City.

There are different types of superchargers

Most Tesla Supercharger Stations belong to the second generation of chargers. Tesla introduced its V3 or Version 3 Supercharger recently. Let's take a look at the key differences between current versions and V3.

The V3 chargers have been replacing the older second-generation superchargers.

The V2 chargers can charge up to 400 miles an hour. The newer V3 chargers charge twice as fast!

Note: On your Supercharger Map in a Tesla, you can see which locations have the different versions of chargers. Both are fast but V3 is faster!

Superchargers Version 3 (V3)

Tesla's all-new third-generation V3 Superchargers were launched in 2019. They were installed in selected locations, with the first one in Las Vegas.

How fast does the V3 supercharger charge?

The V3 Supercharger, without sugarcoating the matter, is incredible. These chargers are capable of delivering up to 250kW to charge your lithium-ion battery up to 1,000 miles per hour.

You could easily charge your phone, go to the bathroom and grab a snack. That would be enough for you to commute for at least a couple of days.

What Models are Compatible with V3 Superchargers?

All Tesla models are compatible with the V3 Tesla Superchargers.

It's a great thing that Tesla is working on batteries that can go up to 1,000 miles per charge. This is already the case with the new Roadster, which will be released soon and has a range of 620 miles (and a top speed of 250+ miles an hour). Tesla is incredible.

Are V3 Superchargers the fastest electric car chargers in the world?

Back to the V3. Tesla is very concerned about having the fastest Superchargers. They faced criticism in 2016 when they claimed that they had the fastest

Superchargers in the world. The Advertising Standards Authority did rule in Tesla's favour. Tesla was successful in that case. However, Porsche, the company Tesla looks up to, challenged them again in 2018.

Tesla must maintain its position at the top with the newer EVs and the growing demand for the segment. Tesla is the US's leading EV manufacturer, and the V3 will help it maintain that position.

How do Tesla Superchargers work?

You'll notice thin, white ports with a bright red finish when you first approach a charging station.

Superchargers have an inner hollow portion, which you can attach to your vehicle and they will start charging. There is no noise, no smell of gas, and no buttons to choose from. Just simple, fast and effective charging.

When compared to a conventional petroleum gas station you might think an electric charging station would be larger and more complex, but that is not the case.

How it works:

  • Tesla Superchargers transform raw direct current (DC) power into usable alternating current (AC) power.
  • This can only happen if there is a raw DC source. The high-voltage grids and the internet are the best sources. These huge transmitters now power our factories, cities, and cars! Grids are typically controlled by large corporations. At least in defined regions. It's possible that this creates some monopoly power, but it is better than multiple companies being unable to serve large areas.
  • The power delivered varies depending on where you are. In the US it can range from 230 Kilovolts (kV), to 765kV. This is a distance of over 163,000 miles.
  • The Tesla Supercharging Station converts the direct current into an alternating current that is safe (for the car, not for you).
  • Tesla's Supercharger Transformation Cabins can do the job, but unfortunately, the charger cannot. These small structures are located near each supercharger. This is a small, white metal box-like building surrounded by a few cabins. The cabins are dangerously high-voltage and can reach up to 15,000 volts.
  • Don't worry, this would never happen when charging. A Tesla Supercharger is more likely to be the site of an accident than a conventional gas station.
  • The funny part is here. The cabins of the transformation are filled with 12 small lithium-ion batterys. These are the same batteries that were used in Model S and X. Ironic, right?
  • The 12 batteries can be divided into four blocks. Three batteries will make up a block.

The entire cabin, or all four blocks are assigned to a vehicle when it is being charged. If another vehicle begins charging, the charge will be split with that vehicle. Tesla ensures that the charge is always 75 kW, so you don't have to worry about multiple vehicles charging simultaneously.

Cabins and Superchargers have an advanced cooling system, as they handle a lot of heat and energy. The liquid-cooled cables are more complex on newer models. However, the Tesla Superchargers still work the same way.

What's inside a Tesla Supercharger?

We know a lot about cats, grilled-cheese, and even what's in everything thanks to the Internet. These guys from YouTube also let us know what is inside a Tesla Supercharger.

I won't get into much detail because it is a pretty technical subject. You'll be amazed at how simple it is if you view the video.

The Supercharger will send and receive a signal when a Tesla vehicle is connected. Thick cables deliver electricity to the EV.

You will notice in large, bold, white letters on the light fixture shining through the "TESLA Logo" that it is "MADE IN EARTH BY HUMANS."

It's a nice touch from the company, and it was probably an order directly from Elon Musk. It's up to you whether Musk wrote it for the future computer overlords, or aliens who discover the last remnants of humanity. Who knows, maybe in a few more years the caption will be "Made by Cyber-humans on Mars."

Tesla Superchargers - What you need to know?

Like everything else, superchargers have some drawbacks.

There are some things to keep in mind when you charge your Tesla at Supercharge Stations. This will ensure that your battery is healthy and give you a better driving experience.

Find out below what makes Superchargers so special, and a few tricks to make the most of your charging experience.

How to Supercharge Your Vehicle

We'll go over a few quick tips for charging your Tesla all-electric at a supercharge station, and why they are important.

Do Not Supercharge Everyday

All initial Model S buyers received free Supercharging for life. While charging with Tesla can be cheaper than filling a tank of gasoline, free charging is always better.

Many Tesla owners supercharge often because of this benefit. Why not? It's fast and free. Some people will drive to the nearest mall every day to Supercharge, and then walk around for 30 minutes before returning home.

It may sound like a great idea, but in reality it is not. Your lithium-ion Tesla's battery will be damaged if you supercharge frequently. Do not take my word for it. It's coming straight from the source.

Musk is a frequent tweeter about Tesla. He has said that supercharging twice or once a week was great, but that any more and the battery could be damaged.

Tesla may be able to justify its offer of free lifetime charging for select purchases by stating that the logic behind it is sound. Consider it. Think about it.

You'll notice that all these Supercharges put strain on the lithium-ion batteries. Your Tesla will no longer be able to charge up to 100% or the battery will run out more quickly. If you're not traveling across the country, only supercharge once a week.

Do Not Supercharge the Whole Way

You can control many of the features of your Tesla. You can control the AC on your Model 3 or Y and the power of your regenerative braking.

It's generally recommended to not charge more than 80% or 90 % on a regular basis. You shouldn't allow your charge to fall below 10%.

Tesla's display will tell you how many miles are left, but that isn't the most accurate. Instead, switch to a percentage, just like on a computer or phone.

Don't misunderstand me, you purchased the car with a certain mileage, and it is perfectly fine to use that full distance. You should actually fill your car up to the top once or twice per month. This is good for the lithium-ion batteries. If you're going on a trip, or anything else that requires a lot of driving, then fill up to the maximum. But don't do this every day.

Change the charge limit to avoid unnecessary idle fees

You may have to pay extra for idle time if you don't have a lifetime deal or a code that gives you six months of supercharging.

A Tesla will be charged an idle fee if it has completed Supercharging, and is now parked in the station. This blocks other Teslas from charging. Owners pay around $0.40 a minute. 40 cents add up quickly.

You can see that it is a clever move by Tesla. Otherwise, the charging stations would be full all the time. There is a clever trick that you can use to avoid the charge and extend your time.

You can easily increase the charging limit on your phone.

Imagine you're enjoying a family meal and you receive a notification that your car is finished charging. It also warns that you may be charged idle fees. You panic because you're worried that the restaurant has brought the food out too late and you don't have time to pack your children up and leave.

You can manually raise the charging limit by dragging it all the way right. You're done! You have just purchased yourself 20 minutes, enough time to finish eating with your family, pay the bill, and unplug your Tesla.

It's also great if you have to run into a mall, or whatever, and you can't park. You can almost always find an empty Tesla Supercharger slot. Just set your limit at 100%, go inside and buy what you need.

Do not Force Anythiny

Tesla invested a great deal of money in charging stations. You want to avoid damaging or breaking anything. It is extremely intelligent, and it has been thoroughly tested. Unlike your old box TV from the 1990s, you do not need to hit anything to make it work.

  • Click gently on the end of the cable, or the button at the tip. You can also click from the display on your phone/vehicle to open the charging port.
  • Don't force the charger into your vehicle if it is not working properly. Keep your hand still and align the port. Try another Supercharge slot if it doesn't work.
  • Once you remove the cable from the port, it should automatically close if the Tesla app is not used or if the display on the inside of the device isn't being used. DO NOT try to force the door of the port shut. You could damage it.

Supercharging While on a Road Trip

Tesla has extended its Supercharger Stations throughout the United States so that you and your friends may enjoy a scenic drive through the deserts, mountains, and forests of North America. Europe is another great place for road trips, but plan your trip carefully because some locations do not have charging stations.

  • Always check your route in advance. Enter your destination on the navigation before you leave. Tesla will guide you with Superchargers and give you the fastest route. The default option is the fastest route. You can choose multiple options.
  • Estimated miles are not always accurate. For example, if your Tesla tells you that you will reach the next station with 20 miles remaining, it's best to stop sooner at a Supercharger station. When you arrive, try to have 50 miles or more left.
  • Supercharger stations can be out of service. Tesla usually notifies you when a Supercharger needs maintenance. However, there have been instances where people haven't known about the downtime until they arrive at the station.

It happens a lot in Florida, especially during hurricane seasons when the power grids are down. Tesla increased the mileage limit for everyone during the hurricane season of last year so that everyone could safely evacuate.

  • Charge often when you're on a trip. I know that I said not to Supercharge your car all the way every time, but it is important for you to have a full charge when you are on a trip. You don't want your Tesla to break down in the middle nowhere without any cell-service or other cars nearby to assist.

Always have enough battery charge to allow for a quick detour if necessary. Do not think that you can just skip a Supercharger and go to the next one.

Some Supercharger stations are located in scenic areas, with beautiful views and restaurants or rest areas. Sometimes you're not so lucky and may even be forced to stay in the car. You can be ready to drive again in 50 minutes if you want.

FAQs about Superchargers

Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers about the Tesla Superchargers.

Where is the Supercharger?

You may arrive at the Supercharger and find that the navigation stops, but you don't know where the charging slots can be found. The navigation is usually accurate but this problem is common. You have to ask around until you find the Supercharger.

Are Superchargers available 24/7?

Most Superchargers are open 24 hours a day, but it's best to check the nearby stores and restaurants.

Is there a way to make the supercharger work faster?

This is a clever little trick. You'll want to make sure that the transmission cabin is working for you. You can either park your Tesla away from others so you have your own charging station (these are alphabetized A/B/C, etc.). For maximum speed.

Why do some supercharge stations charge by the minute and others by kW/hour?

It is mainly due to the different laws and regulations of each country or state, which make it difficult for you to charge electricity. Tesla bills by kW/hour, but at select locations, they bill by the minute to reflect the dynamic charging rate.

What Should You Do If Your Car Runs Out Of Battery?

Tesla roadside assistance is available, but it's not covered financially. Plan ahead and prepare.

Here you go, the amazing Tesla Supercharger. Tesla is without a shadow of a doubt one of the coolest businesses. It has made driving and buying an electric vehicle easy and enjoyable. Next time you're at a Supercharger, take a moment to think about how it works.

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