2012 Tesla Model S
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Yes, according to an interview MIT Technology Review conducted with Tesla Motors technology chief JB Straubel. That fill-'er-up kind of timeframe may not happen in a year or two, but the maker of the battery-electric Model S will try to cut down the recharging time of the 120-kilowatt Superchargers it's deploying across the country for its electricity-thirsty customers.

When Tesla's Superchargers debuted last year, the company said those stations could recharge a Model S to 50-percent capacity in a half-hour. And in May, Tesla announced an upgrade that would cut that 50-percent charge time to 20 minutes, while detailing its national roll-out plan to increase Supercharger stations to 25 from the current 8 by the end of June (here's a map of that system). With solar panels and additional batteries strapped to a Supercharger, Straubel says Tesla's hoping to reduce that time further. That would mean being able to add 100 to 130 miles of range to a Model S (or any upcoming Tesla model) in five to ten minutes. It's not world peace, but for some people, it's awful close.

Meanwhile, last month, Tesla also showed off its battery-swapping technology (the video's below), which allows a battery to be changed out of the EV in as little as 90 seconds.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      methos1999
      • 2 Years Ago
      Initially the bottleneck in fast charging was the power available to the station. However, as the charge time gets shorter it will start approaching the limits of the cell chemistry. For instance, 26650 cells from A123 have a recommended fast charging current of 10A to 3.6V CCCV which takes 15 minutes. I suspect even that can probably get cut down some since they have a recommended continuous discharge of 70A...
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      I feel like they are really pushing those low C rate batteries really hard if they're going for a >1C charge rate with the cells they have. I hope they know what they are doing here. A half charge in 30 minutes , which is means over a 100 mile range on the upper models, is already quite good.
      bearfriend
      • 2 Years Ago
      My god, is this some kind of joke? "Video's"???????? Come ON!
      Tysto
      • 2 Years Ago
      Every single thing you've said here is wrong. No one on the planet is more of an expert on battery technology than the heavily-involved CEO of the premiere company pushing the envelope on battery technology. Planned obsolescence was always BS thrown at the competition by companies who didn't innovate. If your product breaks easily, customers don't buy your product again. No one can make an economical car that lasts more than a couple of hundred thousand miles without major maintenance. Tesla will continue to push battery technology far into the future and do so safely. As far as I know, they've never even had a battery in the wild overheat or catch fire, which can't be said of others—including every gas car maker.
      davidcg580
      • 2 Years Ago
      I find it amusing that the folks on here are far more battery experts than the guy who sends rockets to the space station.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @davidcg580
        I see your point, but standing over a company that sends rockets to the moon does not necessarily make you a battery expert either ;) It is possible to know what you are doing with batteries but intentionally reduce their lifespan a little for the benefit of higher sales due to better looking specs. Let's be honest, almost all automakers do this. It's called planned obsolescence. They could make you a car that lasted 1,000,000 miles but they won't. Bean counters get involved with upper management and strike a compromise that means for less quality. Whether Tesla is doing this is totally up to speculation. My hunch is that they are pushing the battery a bit too far though.
      Electron
      • 2 Years Ago
      So basically what Straubel is suggesting is 100-150 miles of extra range in ~10 minutes. Sounds like this next step in supercharging ("hypercharging"?) will bring BEVs on par with conventional cars in terms of real world practicality. If this is offered in the gen 3 car it's even more likely to become an enormous hit.
        Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Electron
        That will kill battery swapping and the extra costs associated with it, and rightfully so.
      SublimeKnight
      • 2 Years Ago
      50% in 10 minutes is a 3C charge. They pull more than 3C out of the pack during full acceleration, so that doesn't seem too outlandish of a claim. 50% in 5 minutes... even talking about that probably makes Panasonic uneasy.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SublimeKnight
        Charge C rate is a fraction of discharge C rate on every single lithium battery spec sheet i've seen. For example, the crazy RC Lipo cells that are rated for 60C continuous charge only take 10C in.
          sandos
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          I am notorious with breaking the charge-rates for my lipo cells. Not more than 7C or so, but thats for cells rated for 2C and I never noticed anything special happening. I suspect pushing above 10C is not that as big a deal as it seems.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          How many cycles are you getting? I've stuck to 1C and 90% SOC and i've got a 3 year old pack with no puffing and measures at 95% of the capacity of new at 200 cycles. They said these would only last 300 cycles.. :)
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          sandos: You will shorten the cell life. If you don't care how long your cells last, then have at it. But car companies do care how long their cells last. 2wm: Spec for "end of useful life" is typically 80-85% of original capacity. As you are sticking to 90% SOC you likely will do better than that as you say.
        Weapon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SublimeKnight
        NCA chemistry can do up to 5C without issues. The problem comes down to how it would effect the lifespan of the battery. Cause remember, Tesla is on the hook for 8 years in the warranty. So anything over 1C needs not be done carefully.
          2 wheeled menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Weapon
          Can NCA really do that? What cells are in the Tesla Model S, and have you seen a spec sheet for said cells? i have not. But i've seen the 3.1AH cell spec sheets and i see very very weak discharge and charge ratings.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SublimeKnight
        Out is easier than in. The cells heat up more during charging than discharging.
      purrpullberra
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ugh, this idiot writer again. Well at least it's free from insults which is expected from a 'pro', not us 'customers'. Despite what your salespeople say it's the readers who pay your bills Autoblog. I do want to acknowledge and praise you for not jumping on the stock price fluctuations this week. The possibility for a juicy story or two was there but you prevailed in using your better judgment. Daily stock price moves belong in business blogs, we should look at weeks moves at the smallest scale if we are going to not talk out of our butts. Well done. Not such big news as it seems obvious what they are going for in the near future but Tesla knows they must keep under-promising and over-delivering their tech (price~) so now we have a better idea of the lowest level Tesla is shooting for. Are the current cars built to handle that kind of increase in juicing up? That's something I expect but I don't know if that's reasonable. The current cars can only handle so much, right?
      ElectricAvenue
      • 2 Years Ago
      "They could make you a car that lasted 1,000,000 miles but they won't." Well, I think that's a bit of hyperbole. There are certain things that are nearly impossible to make last forever, for example suspension bits and other things that get a lot of shock and vibration. Take a look at highway coaches (buses) - sure, they can last millions of miles, but over that life how many times has the engine been overhauled or replaced, how many times have bits of the air suspension or brakes been replaced, etc. Not to mention how many sets of tires they've gone through. Things wear. Even on vehicles that cost a half million dollars (the aforementioned buses).
      bearfriend
      • 2 Years Ago
      Quite a hefty one, I might add.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      One of the things that hasn't had an article yet is that Elon said at Teslive that the batteries are one of the major things holding back increasing production. The factory can only crank out enough batteries to fill Tesla's current demand and a little more. Until Panasonic builds another battery production facility or expands the current one then Tesla will be stuck with the S and the X. So there will need to be both new chemistry and a new battery facility to realistically build the Gen III.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Short answer is likely no. The batteries in a Model S are slow with a recommended charge below 1C. Although I haven't seen tests of it, I would imagine they would become prohibitively hot if charged at 3-5C. More agile batteries like good lifepo or liti could however do it.
        Weapon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Both LiPo and NCA batteries are capable of 3-5C charging.
          Giza Plateau
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Weapon
          rc lipo is also capable of bursting into flames at will. I would not put that in a car.
        Tysto
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Giza, aren't people like you tired of being wrong about Tesla? Elon Musk has made a living out of squeezing in between "likely" and "no".
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