After range, recharging is perhaps the biggest hurdle for electric cars to overcome. When you can refuel your conventional car at a petrol station - something that’s never more than a mile or two away - in a few minutes, the idea of plugging in an electric vehicle and potentially waiting hours isn’t exactly palatable.
However, charging times are constantly dropping. Cars that are capable of being fed electricity at a much faster rate are emerging all the time, and the chargers themselves are getting quicker. Just look at Tesla, which has now revealed its ‘V3 Supercharging’ system. It’s capable of delivering 1000 miles of charge an hour, potentially cutting charging times for owners in half. Plugging in for just five minutes, for example, will give you enough juice to cover around 75 miles.
Based around a 1MW cabinet, the V3 Superchargers can dole out 250kW for each car connected. To put that in context, most Superchargers manage just 120kW. It doesn’t quite have the bragging rights for the most capable, as chargers that can supply up to 350kW do already exist, albeit in relatively small numbers.
There’s currently a “public beta site” for V3 in the Bay Area near Tesla’s Palo Alto HQ, with the first proper site due to be built next month. The first chargers in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region will land at some point in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Initially V3 Supercharging will only be available for the Model 3, although Tesla has said that it “will increase Model S and X charging speeds via software updates in the coming months” and that V3 “will roll out to the wider fleet in an over the air firmware update to all owners in Q2 as more V3 Superchargers come online.”