When the Mitsubishi i-Miev launched in select markets back in 2009, it introduced most of us to DC CHAdeMO quick charging for the first time. Capable of refilling a Mitsubishi i-Miev or Nissan LEAF’s battery pack from empty to 80 per cent full in around 30 minutes — and 100 per cent in about 45 minutes — 50 kilowatt CHAdeMO quick charging was the favoured rapid charging standard in the electric car world for several years. Adding between 50 and 80 miles of range in half an hour depending on the car and weather conditions, it also made long-distance EV trips truly practical for the first time.
That was before Tesla launched its Model S electric sedan, along with its proprietary Supercharger standard. Currently capable of providing up to 130 kilowatts of instantaneous power, Tesla’s Supercharger standard makes the CHAdeMO quick charger look like a slow, overnight charge. In fact, unless you’ve experienced Supercharging for yourself, the chances are it’s almost impossible to conceive how quick it really is.
Luckily for us, avid YouTuber and Model S owner Bjørn Nyland (via Insideevs)decided to show us, by filming his 85 kilowatt-hour Tesla Model S as it charged on a Norwegian 130 kilowatt Tesla Supercharger. He then sped up the resulting video by a factor of ten, and posted it online.
Plugging in with about 10 per cent of charge, Bjørn’s video shows that the initial part of Tesla’s charge process is unbelievably quick, adding about 20 miles of range in a little over three and a half minutes. After six minutes, the Supercharger has added more than 50 miles of range to the car. In a similar amount of time, a CHAdeMo quick charger would have added less than fifteen miles of range.
Like other rapid charging technologies, the Tesla Supercharger starts to ramp down its power delivery when the car reaches sixty percent full or so, achieving an 80 per cent charge in around 45 minutes. The rate of charge then dramatically slows down for the final 20 percent, which occurs some 115 minutes after plugging in. It’s worth noting however, that after 60 minutes of being plugged in, the car was more than 90 per cent full, highlighting dramatically why it’s not worth waiting around for that final ten percent when rapid charging.
Interestingly, Bjørn say he’s never seen more than 100 kilowatts of power delivered to his car at any one time, despite Tesla saying its Superchargers can deliver up to 130 kilowatts.
Power levels regardless, we think going from 30 kilometres of range to 371 kilometres of range in under an hour is more than enough for most EV drivers.
We just wonder how long it’ll be before Tesla’s patents are adopted by other automakers so we can all share the Supercharger love.
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