Model S P100D battery and Supercharger V3

Model S P100D battery and Supercharger V3

After much deliberation I pulled the trigger yesterday on a new P100D. Then, after reading about the V3 supercharger I was even more thrilled. But then, I discovered that the MS and M3 use different batteries and in some cases, the M3 battery charges twice as fast. The Tesla blog states that MS/X batteries will received a software update in the next few months to enable faster charging.

Considering the advances with the M3 and relative age of the MS battery, should I be concerned about the MS battery compared to the M3? I also read that Elon likes updates in month 1 of each quarter, is a MS refresh possible next month?

I'm fine with evolving technology and know the risks, but I am concerned that a $35k M3 will charge twice as fast my $100K MS.

Any guidance or thoughts are appreciated.

jordanrichard | March 7, 2019

First, congrats on placing your order.

I don’t mean to come across as snarky, but did you choose the P100D over the M3 because you thought it would charge faster.....?

Price point doesn’t mean that everything is better. Did you know that the $1.5 million Veyron had no nav system.?

The Model 3 will indeed charge faster than your car, but keep in mind that the V3 is a different charger than the current V2 chargers. Meaning, it is going to be a long time before you may actually get to plug into a V3 charger.

Also the V3 will be a 250kW charger and the vast majority of existing superchargers will be uncorked to go to 145kw. So the V3 is not going to be twice the power/speed.

As for the update frequency/timing, there is no rhyme or reason to the software updates. I have a S85 and when pulling into a supercharger with about 75 miles on my battery, I have been seeing charging rates of up 400 mph. This is a significant increase from the past and now it’s looking like it will go up further.

BTW, your P100 will charge faster than my S85 because you will have a larger battery.

mikealexandria | March 7, 2019

Thanks for the response. You're right, I didn't get it for the charge rate and I'm happy to pay the premium for what it offers over the M3 - at least for my needs.

In addition to the software updates, I'm also nervous about hardware - specifically the battery. Yesterday, I was unaware that the MS battery was different than the M3.

So a bigger battery charges faster?

So maybe its just nerves!

Thanks again.

jordanrichard | March 7, 2019

It’s ok to be nervous. We all just drink a lot to settle our nerves........ :-)

Seriously though, the batteries in the S and X are made by Panasonic and imported from Japan/Asia. They are a different size than what is in the Model 3. Model 3’s batteries are made at the Gigafactory in NV. They are also a more advanced battery. Tesla can’t use the same batteries in the S and X because structurally the cars would need to be redesigned because the batteries in the 3 are taller.

Now when they do finally get around to redesigning the S many suspect that they will use an even newer type/size battery.

Yes a bigger battery (kWh wise) will charge faster.

Darthamerica | March 7, 2019

Hi Mike and welcome to the club... You have a great car. Unless you plan to charge exclusively at Superchargers, this is not anything to be concerned about. Most likely and hopefully you will be charging at home overnight. When you do Supercharge you will be impressed with the charging speed even if it’s not as fast as the Model 3. | March 7, 2019

No worries on the battery. In one sense the S/X battery has far more real-world long term testing than the newer 3 battery, and the S/X battery has proven to be very reliable and solid over the long term.

mikealexandria | March 7, 2019

Great points everyone - thanks again, you talked me down.

Now for that drink and shopping for accessories.


mikealexandria | March 7, 2019
jjgunn | March 8, 2019


S/X have the 18650 batteries. M3 has the newer 2170 batteries.

M3 has been achieving charge rates up to 1,000 MPH. I can see our S/X getting to probably 700 MPH which is about double our current charge speed

Remember, battery must be below 50% & ambient temperature should be above 50 F - warm battery & no limited Regen to acquire the fast charging speeds

jordanrichard | March 8, 2019

jjgunn, perhaps a 100 kwh pack might be able to see 700 MPH, but not the rest of the packs. As I mentioned above, I have already, meaning the pasty couple of months seen upwards of 400 mph. So either the chargers I plugged into have already been update (uncorked) or this up to 145 kw will add even more speed to my charging. Elon had said that even with the V2 chargers, people would see a 25% increase. So in my case would mean 500 MPH which only the Model 3s have been seeing. | March 8, 2019

Let me reset some expectations - I doubt we'll see 700 mph charging on a 100 kW S/X pack. We should see something like 15-20% better, not 100%. Tesla also shows 25% of the speedup is also due to pre-heating the battery prior to arrival. This doesn't improve the mph charging speed, but the wait while the battery is warmed before charging can start in colder conditions. For warmer conditions, pre-heating is not necessary and will not speed charging. It's all great, but only the Model 3 is going to get the major jump in speed.

Also remember, the Model 3 has much lower watts per mile (smaller, lighter than S/X), so the charging speed is naturally faster when using a mph type rating. If using the power over time to charge, the differences are quite a bit less between the 3 and the S/X.

inconel | March 8, 2019

Indeed I think most of SX charging improvements will come from preconditioning and no sharing between two paired stalls. The former applies to all Superchargers, the latter only for V3 chargers.

Bighorn | March 8, 2019

I don’t really see where a battery would need to be heated beyond normal operating temperature on a trip, but I don’t know what the optimal charging temperature is. It seems that the battery being too warm is a more common issue the too cold unless it’s at the beginning of a cold day.

Darthamerica | March 8, 2019

@Bighorn it’s probably not an issue in mild climates like SoCal for example. However when you get to some of the more colder climates or on really cold mornings/evenings it can cause reduced current/charging speeds to protect the battery. I think well below 40 degrees F.

Darthamerica | March 8, 2019

Also resistance is inversely proportional to temp.

Bighorn | March 8, 2019

I’m in Wyoming, so I’m familiar with temperature throttling, but it doesn’t happen when you’re on a trip because the battery is heated from the act of driving. Wake up to a cold battery and you can wait an hour for charge to flow even with the battery heater on the Model S. So it’s unclear when this new heating feature will provide a benefit, especially a 25% increase.

Munka | March 8, 2019

As a P100D owner myself, this really shouldn't be a concern. One of the biggest joys of an ev is never having to go to a gas station. We borrowed my mum's olden day car the other day and thought it would be polite to top it up. When we pulled into the gas station my wife and I looked at each other as if someone had just asked us to clean up dog poo with our bare hands. In the end I filled it up and it wasn't so bad, but the whole notion of pulling over for 5 minutes several times a month is so 2015!

Once you realise the best way to charge us to plug in every night it doesn't matter if that takes 40 minutes or 6 hours. Then when you do road trips charge to 95-100% before you go, a 20-30 minute stop every 200-250 miles should be a mandatory safety requirement anyway! I find if you leave in the morning, stop for lunch and then have a quick afternoon Top up you can get just about anywhere!

The extra 10 minutes a year you might wait is greatly compensated for by the 50+ times you didn't stop at a gas station. | March 9, 2019

V3 Supercharging -- Help me out:
250 kW available for faster charging is the claim but this bamboozles me.

Take the 100 kWh pack for example. It has 8,256 18650 cells in it. Chemistry dictates 4.2 volts maximum charging voltage per cell. All existing Tesla battery packs are charged at no more than 96 X 4.2 = 403.2 volts. Panasonic recommends charging at no more than 2 amperes per cell. Tesla cools the battery pack while charging and has used 4 amperes as the maximum charging current to 18650s for the past 7 years. I assume that both heat and cell degradation are considerations in this decision. 403.2 X 8,256 X 4 = 133.2 kW, the highest power that can be used by Tesla cars for charging in "current" practice.

There is only 1 degree of freedom--increasing the current. Cell chemistry dictates the maximum charging voltage. Here are the rub(s) when that is done. More heat to dissipate while charging and more degradation due to sustained heating of cells during charging.

The internal resistance of 18650 cells is about .015 Ohms, as I recall. @TeslaTap might know more. At 4 amps the energy dissipated in each cell is 4 X 4 X .015 = .24 watts. .24 X 8,256 = about 2 kW. Think 20 100 watt light bulbs heating the pack. If the battery management system has some margin for increased cooling capability, then the only way Tesla can charge the cells at higher current is to download a software change that amps up the cooling to offset the increased heat generated during Supercharging. This is done at the risk of increased cell degradation.???

jjgunn | March 9, 2019

If 250 kW is true, is there a variable missing in the math?

How fast can we jam volts/amps into a cell without increasing cell degradation?

Darthamerica | March 9, 2019

@Bighorn I tend to agree that under most conditions 25% is probably optimistic. I think this is only in the most extreme cases where owners are in or near sub zero temps. I'll use my thermal sight next time I'm out on the range to get an idea of how cold the battery is.

Bighorn | March 9, 2019

Just read from Jason that he preheats his battery to 45C when he's doing a quick charge sesh. Much lower for longer charges. I had mistaken access to the coolant temp screen during the first 3000 miles of a winter road trip. It's been a few years, but I seem to remember the temp staying around 50C. Supercharging always started right out at max power even though temps were as low as negative 26F.

p.c.mcavoy | March 9, 2019

I agree with @Bighorn that it's not clear to me what the benefit of the preheating is except for those use cases where you've not driven enough for the battery pack to be up to normal temps already.

As for the 25% improvement statement, I'm wondering if maybe Tesla is basing this on some overall fleet averaging including the benefit of having eliminated any paired stall limitations. I'm not aware of any data publicly available that would say what portion of overall charging sessions are impacted by stall pairing to do some form of rough projection myself. That's the scenario where I see the biggest benefit for legacy S/X owners, especially at more crowded locations along the coasts. It also will be much more acceptable to owners that superchargers generally run over 50% capacity as a result of no longer seeing any penalty, relieving some burden on Tesla around rate of supercharger expansion along heavily traveled routes.

p.c.mcavoy | March 9, 2019

@Munka - As to 10 minutes a year extra wait, that's highly dependent upon how you use your car and how much long range travel you do.

I'm planning trip to visit my daughter in a few weeks. That's about 720 miles each way. I'd gladly take a 25% reduction in my charging times on that trip. Given she's in upper Manhattan/Washington Heights, I have no viable charging while I'm there and I'll likely start the return trip around 60% SOC. I'd be be inclined to drive back straight through in one day if I could count on a 25% reduction in my current charging times for my MS90, but I'm not up to @BH standards of 20 hour/1000 mile a day travel, especially when traveling with my wife. Given about 650 miles a day starting from a 90% charge is my practical limit, it means we'll make an overnight stop on the way home. Given I do a trip like that probably 4 times a year, a 25% reduction in charging time is significant to me.

Roger1 | March 9, 2019

Battery charging is not a linear function. Battery state of charge, battery temperature and the cooling capability of the liquid loop all influence the rate of charge. Tesla has developed deep understanding of the interplay of these factors and taken advantage of opportunities to increase the charging current for parts of the charging cycle. In newer vehicles, the cooling capacity of the battery pack has been improved to allow higher charge rates. For older batteries, Tesla seems to have identified parts of the charging cycle where a safe margin exists for higher charging currents than originally used and altered the software to exploit it.

I recently travelled to Florida and charged the vehicle after several hours driving in the mid 30 degrees Celsius range ( mid 90F range). The temperature at the Supercharger was 36 degrees C (97 F). The cooling system was running flat out based on the noise coming from the car. If Teslas can Supercharge at 120 kW power levels in these hot conditions then they should be able to charge with higher currents where the ambient air temperature is lower and the cooling system is more efficient.

I think that Teslas are southern California cars. (I wanted to say 'girls' but it might get me into trouble). They pout when it gets chilly and turn on the yellow regeneration limited dashes on the energy display. I live where the water gets solid for a chunk of the year and the yellow dashes appear every time I drive the car. They only disappear after 30 or more minutes of highway driving. Energy consumption goes crazy with battery and cabin heating in operation. Those of us who live in the cooler and cold parts of the world simply use more energy to get where we are going. If the colder temperatures can be used to let the cars Supercharge faster then it is a benefit to us.

As an aside, perhaps Tesla could consider a battery heater function that would operate like the block heater in an ICE vehicle to prevent the battery from becoming completely cold soaked. The function could be made available when the car was plugged into an AC charger so the battery would not be drained. Long term, the answer to cold weather regenerative breaking will be ultracapacitors that are less affected by cool temperatures and able to store power before the battery is warm enough.

Bighorn | March 9, 2019

The S has a dedicated 6kW resistive battery heater. It comes on with preconditioning the cabin though will consume charge if not plugged into at least a 24A service. They did away with that on the 3. | March 9, 2019

To be clearer, Tesla replaced the resistive heater in the S/X on the M3 with a trick of forcing the motor to heat up without turning (when parked). It's a slick approach that saves some costs and improves reliability. Both techniques consume a similar amount of power for the amount of heat generated when stopped.

The motor is different in the M3, so it's not clear the same trick could be made to work in the S/X today, although the S/X does use motor heat when driving. My guess is the next major redesign of the S/X will use a new motor and use the same technique to heat coolant while parked.

Bighorn | March 9, 2019

In reality, the pseudo-battery heater doesn't warm the battery in a parked 3. If it does, it's not noticeable nor does the app indicate that the battery is being heated when you use remote climate activation. | March 9, 2019

a kilowatt (kw) is measure of power equal to 1000 watts. A watt equals a volt times an ampere (amp). There is no other degree of freedom. It will be interesting to see how Tesla pulls this off. We know a sw download is needed to enable the 250 kw charging. | March 9, 2019

@BH - Thanks. So pre-heating (while AC charging) does not warm the M3 battery and you're always left without regen in cold weather at the start of a drive? If so, seems like an easy fix for Tesla, although perhaps they found some problem with it and abandoned that approach. | March 9, 2019

@george - Yep, 250 kW charging on a 350V battery (M3) means 714 amps! For a S/X 100, at 400V, that means 625 amps. I doubt the S/X 100 will get 250 kW charging and suspect it will be closer to 140-145 kW (about 17% more than the original 85 at 120 kW). Not sure the S/X wiring is beefed up for much faster charging, and most expect the older 18650 cells can't handle it either.

Darthamerica | March 9, 2019

@Bighorn... 50C(~122F) at -26F is not likely for consumer grade electronics. You'd need a very complicated and expensive cooling system to deal with that. If you're at 50C with such a low ambient temperature then your very likely to have critical components not meeting junction temp specs.

Silver2K | March 9, 2019

I hope they will give us a battery and du upgrade option one day.

Mark K | March 9, 2019

Bighorn - the Model 3 motor heating trick generates heat at the motor.

There’s no net torque, because they control the phase of pulses to cause a high frequency push-pull action that cancels out the mechanical force from the induction.

But it heats the windings just the same, and those motor windings play the same role as the prior ohmic heater.

The heat at the motor is then carried over to the battery pack via the liquid coolant circulation pumps.

The model 3 battery has the same requirement to warm the battery to operate in cold temps, they just get the heat from the motor instead of a dedicated heating coil.

NKYTA | March 9, 2019

@Mark, but would that make the 3 more susceptible to cold soaking if the 3 is off??

Mark K | March 9, 2019

Ultimately, both Model S and Model 3 maintain their batteries at the direction of the car’s CPU.

The source of heat may be superficially different, but the objective of the algorithm is the same:

Maintain an operable battery to provide service for the driver.

The removal of the ohmic heating coil may at first seem like a cost reduction choice.

But delivering the same function wth fewer parts, less mass, and less potential failure points ...

is engineering excellence.

Bighorn | March 9, 2019

I get the basics of the design change—I’m only saying that it doesn’t accomplish the goal thus far. To date, a long pre-heat in the 3 doesn’t ameliorate the hobbled regen like it does in the S.

Mark K | March 10, 2019

Is it just slower to reach temp, or does it not get there?

Since the motor is the heater, they can put a lot more than 6KW of static heating into. Either it’s got a bug, or they need to dial it up.

Bighorn | March 10, 2019

Climate doesn’t seem to do anything. Charging the car works well though, but I think that’s a byproduct of the charge. I haven’t done much experimenting after it failed the first couple times.

Yodrak. | March 10, 2019

"a bigger battery (kWh wise) will charge faster."

Let's be a bit careful here. There are a number of variables.

For a specified voltage and current, all batteries will charge at the same rate - the kW available from the source.

A more advanced battery that can accept a higher voltage or current than a less advanced battery will charge at a faster rate than the less advanced battery if the source can provide the higher voltage or current to the more advanced battery. The state of charge at any given moment factors in here, because any battery can accept a higher current at a lower state of charge than it can at a higher state of charge.

Also need to define the 'charge' - kWhr - to be provided; are we comparing apples and apples or apples and oranges? A larger battery holds more kWhr than a smaller battery, so all other things being equal it takes longer to charge a larger battery from 'empty' to 'full' than a smaller battery, but a charge is rarely from empty to full and all other things need to be specified because they may not be equal.

Yodrak. | March 10, 2019

"I don’t really see where a battery would need to be heated beyond normal operating temperature on a trip, ... It seems that the battery being too warm is a more common issue the too cold unless it’s at the beginning of a cold day."

I agree. Overheating a battery is a death sentence. Witness the high failure rate of early Leaf batteries, which are neither cooled nor heated, in places like Arizona. And their faster degradation when frequently fast charged than if not fast charged.

Being too cold affects a battery's performance, being too hot affects a battery's life.

p.c.mcavoy | March 10, 2019

@Yodrak - I agree that for a given charging source where charging rate is limited by how many kW the source can supply that batteries of different size likely charge at the same rate.

I think where some view a bigger battery as charging faster gets into the characteristics of the taper at higher SOC and thinking in the context of how long it takes to add a fixed number of miles of range. That's where if you compare my 90 pack and a 100 pack, both starting from 10%, need to add 70 kWh or ~200ish miles of range, you likely can add that to the 100 pack in less total time than in my 90 pack. Yeah, both batteries will start off charging at essentially the same rate, limited by the supply capability of the supercharger, but the taper on my smaller pack will kick in sooner, plus I need to go to a higher final %SOC for the same absolute range, hence it will take longer.

Yodrak. | March 10, 2019

"I think where some view a bigger battery as charging faster gets into the characteristics of the taper at higher SOC and thinking in the context of how long it takes to add a fixed number of miles of range. "

Good points, thanks for adding them. The charging issue is not as simple as it first sounds.

Bighorn | March 10, 2019

The 100 kWh battery accepts charge at 100+ MPH faster than smaller batteries over much of the charging session. They can achieve significantly better average traveling speeds because of the faster charging.

Yodrak. | March 10, 2019

"The 100 kWh battery accepts charge at 100+ MPH faster than smaller batteries over much of the charging session."

To be clear, the "smaller batteries" are the smaller Models S and X batteries? Or do you include the Model 3 battery in the group of "smaller batteries"?

If the latter, is the difference in average traveling speeds as great in comparison to the Model 3 battery as it is in comparison to the smaller Models S and X batteries?

I think that however one defines 'faster charging', the real result that most people are looking for is shortest travel time.

Bighorn | March 10, 2019

I was referring to 100s vs 85s and smaller. I lost a longer post due to a time out and supplanted it with a briefer version. The Model 3 LR charges similarly to a Model S 100. There are some nice charging profiles of all the different batteries over at a better route planner. V3 will allow the 3 to leave the Model S in the dust if I’m reading it right. Germans set a 24 hour distance record in a 3 averaging around 68 MPH, IIRC. The Model S hasn’t achieved 60 yet in the US, though we don’t have the autobahn:) | March 10, 2019

I should think that charging a battery is more effective in heating it up than by using the battery climate control system because the charging current is directly providing ohmic heating within the electrolyte.

I think the way to use higher power as with V3 Superchargers to speed up charging of battery packs is to start charging at a higher voltage than is done today (in order to limit the cell currents). The higher voltage drives more current into the cells and charges them faster. It also heats them up faster. You let this continue for 10-15 minutes increasing the voltage until reaching the maximum of 403.2 volts. Then you let the charging current taper off as it does today. This way you would be pumping current in excess of today's 4/6 amp limit imposed by Tesla only for a limited time which limits the added stress on the cells and the heat build up. You could amp up the cooling system operation during the initial phase to address the added heat load. If you double the current during this time, you could shave up to 15 minutes off the total charge time. This is simply stretching the "max. Current/Max. Voltage charging approach used today.

With today's Superchargers let's suppose you could pump 120 kW into the Model 3 pack and the S100D pack and then drove in a way to match the energy used in the EPA ratings. In 30 minutes each car gets 60 kWh of energy, roughly. The Model 3 travels something like 18% rated miles further than the Model S on this much energy. An average speed of 68 mph on a trip would correspond to an average speed of about 56 mph for the S, all other things being equal. | March 11, 2019

@george - The charging voltage is super-critical for proper battery health. Overvoltage is a sure way to destroy the battery. I would expect overvoltage to heat up so quickly that it catches fire. Not a good way to go.

Setting the proper voltage and current (which changes during charging from 0 to 100% SOC) is really tricky. Using higher than normal voltages to heat the battery when it's cold does not sound like a safe thing to do. As I understand it, you can't even charge the batteries a little when below freezing, or the cells are destroyed. You have to heat the cells above freezing before starting the charge. After that, charging will create some heat, but the fastest charging can occur around 70F - so heating the battery externally speeds the overall charging.

I expect Tesla has run all the tests to get the best out of the charging in speed over all temp ranges.

Sleepydoc1 | March 11, 2019

So what is the max an 85 or 90 can charge at? I dont think I've ever seen more than 96 kw in my X90.

jordanrichard | March 11, 2019

Sleepydoc1, I have seen 110kw in my S85.

Bighorn | March 11, 2019

About 118kW on the 85s. The 90 kWh batteries ended up getting throttled into the 90s due to premature range loss. The increased silicon content to the anode apparently wasn’t as robust.

Silver2K | March 12, 2019


The 90's being throttled at 94kW did not slow charging times when charging to 80%, because the drop off when reaching certain levels does not happen as early as the 85's. The difference is noticed when doing splash and runs only.