No, Tesla V4 Superchargers Aren’t Twice as Powerful: Here’s Why

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Tesla’s first V4 supercharger has just been inaugurated in the Netherlands. It is a small revolution, with an ultra-long cable, which finally makes it possible to charge any electric car. But beware, the power has not increased compared to the V3 Superchargers, and we will explain why.

Tesla’s V4 superchargers should revolutionize the charging of competitive electric cars! In fact, its main novelty is adding a cable of about 3 meters as you can see in the first photos shared on Twitter. This allows solves the biggest problem of V3 superchargers : its too short cable prevented some electric cars from competing brands from recharging without occupying two slots. A situation that is explained by the fact that some cars have the cargo hatch on the opposite side of the Tesla. What annoys the customers of the cars of Elon Musk’s firm when the station is almost full and that a free terminal thus becomes inaccessible.

But that will soon be history, thanks to V4 Superchargers. The first station has just opened in the Netherlands as announced by Tesla in Twitter, not far from Amsterdam as we broadcast yesterday in our columns. Some outlets advertise that V4 superchargers will offer much higher charging power than the V3 superchargers they replace. But this is not true at first glance, and we explain why.

Tesla V4 Supercharger
Tesla V4 Supercharger

The most powerful Tesla V4 superchargers? Not so fast!

What allows some to announce a power increase is the publication on Twitter of the certification labels that are behind the terminals. Our journalist Bob also has posted on his Twitter account a label of a V3 Supercharger next to that of a V4 Supercharger. At the maximum output power of the terminal, we maintain the same values ​​between the two generations, namely 250 kW, thanks to a maximum voltage of 500 volts and a maximum intensity of 631 amps. It is the energy that is sent to the car.

In the DC input part (what the terminal receives as direct current energy), we do not see differences, with a maximum of 575 kW that the terminal receives, with a maximum voltage of 1,000 volts and an intensity of 640 amps. This is the energy that the charging station can receive from the storage batteries hypothetically present on the site, or through solar panels.

Finally, in the AC input part (what the terminal receives as power from the electrical network), we can see a difference. This goes from 430 to 465 amps, and therefore from 350 kVa (at 480 volts) to 387 kVa (at 480 volts). This means that the terminal can receive more power from the electrical network.

What changes in practice?

In practice, what changes? Not much really. Electric car charging will always be limited to 250 kW in Teslas and around 200 kW in cars from other manufacturers. The difference is explained by the fact that Tesla does not respect the CCS standard by increasing the maximum current from 500 to 600 amps, unlike other manufacturers. This allows you to take advantage of this additional 50 kW of power.

Source: Ulrich Rozier for Frandroid

On the other hand, V4 superchargers could be faster than V3s in some cases. The first case is in case of congestion at the station. In the V3, four terminals share the power of a transformer. On V4s, we don’t know if this is still the case, but it’s very likely. In this case, the shared power will be greater, thanks to the energy extracted from the electrical network, which goes from 350 to 387 kVa. But in fact, you really shouldn’t feel this difference, which is negligible.

What calls into question is the presence of another label (which was absent on the V4 Superchargers) that announces a voltage of 1,000 volts for a current of 615 amps. Any a maximum power of 615 kW. But this label seems to indicate the transformer-terminal pair ratings. Therefore, it is not impossible that Superchargers can manage a power greater than 250 kW. But that would require material adjustments, since the terminals can supply a vehicle of up to 250 kW. We imagine this could be the case with V4 Superchargers in the United States, to recharge the Cybertruck and its architecture at 800 volts.

Faster charging for Kia and Hyundai?

The second case where V4 superchargers can be faster is with certain electric cars equipped with of an 800 volt architecture. We know that electric cars based on the E-GMP platform (Kia EV6, Kia EV9, Hyundai Ioniq 6, Hyundai Ioniq 5) are incompatible with Tesla Superchargers and have limited charging speed on the latter. Maybe V4 superchargers will solve this problem.

Hyundai Ioniq 6 // Source: Clément Choulot for Frandroid

Tesla doesn’t have the fastest charging stations on the market anyway. With a power of 250 kW, they are the fastest at 400 volts. But as soon as it switches to 800 volts, Tesla is far behind the competition and above all its big competitor Ionity with 350 kW. Lidl and Kallista do even better, with 360 kW. Fastned managed to go up to 400 kW. But that’s nothing compared to the Chinese giant Geely with its 600 kW terminal. Enough to charge an electric car in just 10 minutes.

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