We don't know if Supercharging will be free...

How Fast Does A Tesla Supercharger Charge an Electric Tesla Model S? This Fast

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.

Superchargers are fast -- but HOW fast?

Superchargers are fast — but HOW fast?

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.

Bjørn Nyland’s Tesla Model S shows us how quickly it charges at a Tesla Supercharger (YouTube)

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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  • CDspeed

    Wow that is quick,Tesla is the best that was a giant killer right there.

  • Jonathan Tracey

    I think it will be a while before even the first company adds supercharging, the german car makers will push on CCS as they have control via the EU.

  • D. Harrower

    The raw speed isn’t even the only awesome thing about them. Superchargers are free to use (so no fumbling with RFIDs or charger vouchers and no filling up your key ring with a hundred different access cards), redundant (there is a minimum of 3 charging stalls at any given site) and maintained by Tesla themselves (any downtime is typically measured in hours rather than days or weeks)

    • Javaman888

      Its free only with 85kW versions, 60kW must pay $2000 before delivery or $2500 after, which is way excessive if one travels long-distance only 1-2 times per year, like myself.

      • D. Harrower

        Fair enough.nnBut show me another vehicle that offers free fuel.nnFor life.nnAt ANY price.

  • Tom Moore

    I’m seeing 600 kph this week along the US northeast, or 114 kW charging power, so 120 kW capacity seems to be credible and may go to 135 in selected cases.

  • Haggy

    There’s generally no need to charge to 100%. The battery will last longer if you don’t, and you get plenty of range. Plus, you could always plug in at home and have it charge overnight, and even schedule the start time. If you want a long road trip and truly want that 100% charge, then plug it in the night before and go to bed.

  • jeffsongster

    Could we get an aftermarket retrofit for our LEAFs please. I’m guessing they could squeeze more into the same packs and make it QC on the Supers. Though the 40gWh packs in the Toyota and Mercedes were not supported for some reason on the Supers… nor is the Roadster… why?

  • No Sun Beach

    Tesla is another great and innovative American Company. But GM is taking one for the team and should be credited when the tide changes.

  • chadbag

    Incredibly slow. If I want to drive to Las Vegas I am not going to stop for an hour to refuel. I can gas up my car in 5 minutes. Even if I stop to eat it takes another 20 minutes. While it is fast for todays cars, in order for EVs like Tesla to become mainstream and replace the ICE (internal combustion engine) you will need 10 minute to 80-90% and 500 mile true range (at 100% so 80% would be about 400 miles of highway speed 80mph in hilly or reasonable mountainous terrain with A/C on or in the dead of Winter when it is 10deg outside). The majority of drivers won’t step back to half the range and 10 times the time to re-fuel/charge. For the next 10+ years the plugin-hybrid will be the stepping stone to the true mass market EV that can replace the ICE car with equal range and convenience to what ICE offers today. That is because you can do most of your daily driving in EV mode unless you live way in the sticks, but still have the ICE for longer trips. Highly urban areas will be a little quicker to reach mass market EV…

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