Supercharger Access

Supercharger Access

At the bottom of the options and pricing page Tesla mentions that the 85kWh vehicles will have access to their Supercharger network. My first question is the time; previously Telsa had stated that the 300 mile battery could be replenished in 45 minutes with a Supercharge. Based on the 30 minute/160 mile number I assume this is still true.

My second question; is there any additional equipment I need to utilize this network, or any other, to receive charge at public stations?

Thanks everyone!


Mycroft | December 23, 2011

You may need an adapter at certain public stations but you won't need one at the Tesla "supercharger" station.

They couch the 30 minute figure for a reason. Supercharging past the halfway point slows down considerably. This is due to the battery technology. The more full the cells become, the slower the charging has to be, because if you try and charge too fast, then the cells become damaged.

So, if your 300 mile batter is down to 150 miles, you're NOT going to be able to charge up to completely full in 30 minutes. Not gonna happen. You'll only get 160 miles in 30 minutes if the battery is totally empty.

adurstewitz | December 23, 2011

Based on your statement I assume that charging to full from empty will take more than the previously stated 45 minutes. Correct?

William13 | December 23, 2011

Mycroft, I think the fastest charging occurs from 20% to 70%, not 0 to 50%. Maybe it is actually 10% to 60%. I think the problem with going too far down in the state of charge is why they backed away from the 75% in 45 minutes.

Timo | December 23, 2011

IIRC it was 80% in 45 minutes. Never empty to full in 45 minutes. You might get the "full" in standard mode, but not in range mode. Confusing? For some that doesn't know about different modes and battery tech in general I bet it is.

mscottring | December 23, 2011

Timo - They pretty much recommend only going to 80% anyway under most conditions, right?

Timo | December 23, 2011

Yes, IIRC.

pbrulott | February 7, 2012


Anybody knows what the supercharger adapter will be?

I just attended the Montreal Auto show and Hydro-Quebec (electric utility company) is sponsoring charger deployment across Quebec. They have 90 laready built/planned for spring 2012.

They also talked about a 400+ volt DC charger for capable cars. They couldn't specify which cars. But one rep from Nissan mentioned the Leaf will be capable. I don't get it. If the TMS 160 is not able to get the supercharge why would the Leaf 24 KWh battery be capable. I also noticed the second adapted on the Leaf that was bigger than the J1772 one.

So 2 questions:

- What will be the adapters required?
- Will the adapters be standardized for 400+ volts

phb | February 7, 2012

I'm no expert but, from what I understand, it's more a question of the amperage than the voltage. The Tesla Supercharger may put out simply too much amperage for the 40kWh battery to handle without undue degradation. Maybe the DC J1772 is able to switch to a lower voltage so the Leaf can handle it.

That's just speculation on my part.

brianman | February 7, 2012

It might also be a difference in battery type again. Tesla optimizing for charge amount rather than charge/discharge rate.

pbrulott | February 8, 2012

Thanks for your answers guys.

Right the battery type thing that delivers less power (that is why the TMS acceleration is modulated based on battery size) but last longer. I guess we'll know more in a couple of months when TM delivers the first cars.

I just hope that the supercharger adapter will be standard across North America. It would be a shame to have different standards. Tesla or any all-electric automakers will hit a wall if they don't align on standards.

stephen.kamichik | February 8, 2012

According to Stephen Smith of TM.....The TM supercharger is a level 3 charger and it outputs 480 volts at 100 amperes or more. The chemistry of the 40 kWh battery pack is not capable of receiving 90 kW of input power. The 60 kWh and 85 kWh battery packs can be supercharged (level 3 charging) only sparingly for occasional long trips.

pbrulott | February 9, 2012

Thanks Stephen for your precise answer.

so the question now is, will any of the TMS (160, 230 or 300), be able to be charged using the 400+ volts chargers being developped by the industry as we speak (they seems to go a different way than Tesla Motors's Superchargers). That could be an in between solution.

stephen.kamichik | February 10, 2012

pbrulott.....According to Stephen Smith of TM, he has no information about access to other brands of level 3 chargers. He thinks that TM will make adapters available as these level 3 chargers pop up. I am guessing that the 40 kWh battery pack will not be capable of level 3 charging because of its chemistry.

Since we live in the same area, it would be interesting to meet each other.

wtrask4 | February 15, 2012

Today's earnings Q&A, Elon Musk said the announcement of the "Super Charger" that is faster than Level 3 should be coming later this summer!

wbrown01 | March 18, 2012

I have reserved the 160 mile battery and I am trying to find good reason to move up to 230 mile.
My question is do I really need access to Tesla’s Supercharging network or will I get similar results with a Public charging station.
They say all Model S cars can use public chargers with the J1772 adaptor so how much slower (or faser) will the public stations be?

jkirkebo | March 18, 2012

The typical 30A J1772 station will give you 7.2kW of power. The Supercharger will deliver 90kW. So the public L2 charger will take 12.5 timer as long to charge a given amount.

Another way to put it: An empty 65kWh battery takes ~8 hours to charge to 80% on 30A L2 (it's not 100% efficient) while you can charge the same battery up to 80% in ~40 minutes on the Supercharger.

If tey deliver CHAdeMO compatability the 80% charge would take a little over an hour on such a charger.

wbrown01 | March 18, 2012

This means I need to come up with another $10K for the 230 mile pack plus the cost of the twin charger. The second half of my decision will be to figure out how long will I be able to travel to work the 100 miles round trip each day if I have a 160 mile battery. If I can do it for 10 years, I figure I can than replace the battery at far less than the current cost, say $20K. Thanks jkirkebo.......

Sudre_ | March 18, 2012

I don't think you need the twin chargers for the Tesla Charger. I THINK the Tesla supercharger is a DC charger all on it own but I could be wrong. I believe am right because the twin charger is only 20kw not 90kw.

ggr | March 18, 2012

You don't need the twin charger option to use the superchargers, which are DC. The on-car charger(s) are used to convert AC to DC. But you do need the bigger battery.

Timo | March 19, 2012

I think reason for this is that small 160 mile battery can't handle constant 90kW power. That's more than 2C rate for it when for 230 mile battery it is about 1.5C and for 300 mile a bit over 1C rate.

Might be chemistry difference too, but I'm not sure if those batteries actually have any chemistry differences.

Larry Chanin | March 19, 2012

The second half of my decision will be to figure out how long will I be able to travel to work the 100 miles round trip each day if I have a 160 mile battery. If I can do it for 10 years, I figure I can than replace the battery at far less than the current cost, say $20K. -

The 160 mile range estimate is based on traveling at a constant 55 mph. The range drops off rapidly at greater speeds. You will find that when the new EPA ratings are released that the range may be reduced by as much as 30% because the new testing is done at more realistic speeds.

In addition, you can expect that after 8 years the battery may lose up to another 30%.

If I were you and I traveled a daily 100 miles round trip, I would be very uncomfortable with only a 40 kWH battery pack.


Brian H | March 19, 2012

Kinda depends on the nature of the trip. Is it door-to-door highway? Half city driving? It would make a significant difference.

Teoatawki | March 19, 2012

100 mile round trip commute on 160 mile pack seems pretty reasonable to me if you can at least plug into 110 at work. Standard charge, you should have 128 mile range when you start off for work, so in theory, you don't need to charge during the day until the pack starts to degrade. You arrive at work with 78 miles left. Plug in. Leave 7 hours later with 116 miles range. Or 9 hours later with 127 miles.

But YMMV, so:

Start the day with 100 mile range, because your car knows your driving pattern. Arrive at work with exactly 50 miles left. Plug in for 7 hours and you should have 80 miles range. Back home with enough with plenty of range to stop at the dry cleaner, post office, and grocery store.

8 years later: based on scenario 2 with 25% degradation.

Start 75 mi range
Arrive 25 mile range
Charge 7 hours still adds 30 miles for 55 miles. 9 hours gives 39 for 64 miles.

If you have level 2 charging at work by then, life is still good. If not, you're going to eventually start charging in range mode all the time, but that will speed up the degradation of the pack.

Brian H | March 19, 2012

Is it 50 mi each way at highway speed?

stevenmaifert | March 19, 2012

Let's hope the S will eventually (soon) have CHAdeMO compatability. Even though the S charge port is proprietary, they will be giving us a J1772 adapter for Level 2 public charging so why not a CHAdeMO adapter for Level 3 DC fast chargers like the ones highlighted in this article:

Another puzzler for me is that if Nissan can come up with a way to DC fast charge the 24 kWh battery pack in the Leaf, why can't TM come up with current limiting hardware/software to DC fast charge the 40 kWh battery in the S without damaging it?

David70 | March 19, 2012

Fast charging a 24 kWh pack is at a much lower charge rate than fast charging an 85 kWh pack. True, "fast charging" a 40 kWh pack should be doable, but then they'd have to charge at about 40kW rather than 90kW used with the 85 kWh pack. What is meant by "fast charging" is all relative. For the 40 kWh pack, it would probably be easier to use an adapter for the CHAdeMO charger than let them use the supercharger.

Sudre_ | March 19, 2012

To be honest I don't get the lack of fast charging for the 40kW battery myself. If I plug a 90kW charger into a 40kW battery the 'C' rate will fry the battery..... unless I spend $1500ish extra and buy a step down adapter that will reduce that 90kW charger down to an acceptable level. Tesla just doesn't have the time to create such a beast not to mention it would cancel a bunch of 60kW battery orders. I would imagine that in the future it may become possible. A third party could even create it but Tesla might not honor the warranty if you use it.

I don't see the demand for a fast charge on the 40kW battery but that's just me. That range is definitely not going to work for long road trips.

Remember that if you only think you are going to need the extra range once or twice a year it is FAR cheaper to fly and rent a car (or just rent and drive) for 8 years than it is to upgrade your battery.
If you think you will need to do it more than a couple of times a year then you are seriously reducing the longevity of your 40kW battery (if it were possible to fast charge) and I'd recommend upgrading to the next size battery or flying/renting. That is the real reason I think Tesla doesn't offer fast charging for the 40kW battery.... battery life.

stevenmaifert | March 19, 2012

I do see a demand for a DC fast charge on the 40kWh battery. For example, I live in San Diego. Let's say the S with the 40kWh battery is all I can afford. I'd like to make a day trip from San Diego to the Los Angeles area but can't because the nominal 160 mile range of the battery won't get me there and back and I don't have the time it takes for Level 2 charging while I'm there. Bummer! But, if I could DC fast charge while I'm having lunch, attending the sporting event, going to the theater, or parked at LAX waiting on an arrival, the trip works and Tesla sells me a car!

It just seems to me that the wizards at TM could come up with a DC fast charger protocol integration that would limit the charge current (amps) from the DC charger to safely charge the 40kWh battery. Again, if Nissan can come up with a way to safely DC fast charge the Leaf's 24 kWh battery pack in 20 minutes, why can't TM accomplish the same for their 40kWh battery in a reasonably short time? I know TM is focused on getting the S into production so I'm saying they don't have to figure this one out right away, but just as they figured out how to adapt J1772 public access charging to the Roadster long after the Roadster came out and just as they are now figuring out how to adapt the Roadster to the new Tesla Supercharger, they could figure this one out too sometime in the future. The 40kWh battery deliveries won't start until next winter, so they have time.

gjunky | March 20, 2012

@steven: I completely agree. Nissan can do it. Why not Tesla? I have that same kind of trip from Phoenixto Tucson or Phoenix to the mountains. A fast charging option on the other side would make these trips possible.

Tesla engineers: Make it happen! :-)

Vawlkus | March 20, 2012

Nissan also claims their battery will never die.

mbcaffe | March 23, 2012

does anybody know how model S will integrate subscription based chargers in california including the 40Kwh battery?
My daily commute is 60 miles roundtrip but it would nice to use it on weekend trips. If not, I can rent a lot of cars for $10,000

bbmertz | March 25, 2012

Can anyone clarify the supercharging capabilities of the 65 kWh battery based on conversations with Tesla reps? The options web page is confusing since at the top it mentions supercharging is optional for the 65 kWh (meaning you have to buy an adapter?) and in the charging section it mentions supercharging will be available on the 65 and 80 kWh batteries, yet the bottom of the page say supercharging is TBD for 65 kWh.

Larry Chanin | March 25, 2012

The 85 kWh battery has a single charger port that will accommodate both AC and DC charging as a standard included option.

I interpret that the 65 kWh battery will offer this capability as an option for possibly an additional fee.

The TBD means the pricing of this option has yet to be determined, but Tesla has definately determined that the option will be offerred for 65 kWh batteries.


Longhorn92 | March 25, 2012

Based on my conversations/e-mails with the reps, the Supercharger requires (i) additional hardware on the vehicle to bypass the onboard charger(s) and (ii) beefed-up wiring to handle the 90 kW. The additional hardware and beefed-up wiring will be an additional charge for the 60 kWh battery pack. It will not be available for the 40 kWh battery pack since it would wear out the battery pack too quickly.

That is my understanding... not sure it's 100% accurate, but I think it's pretty close.

bbmertz | March 25, 2012

Thanks for the clarification. I look forward to eventually seeing the supercharging capability for the 65 kWh changing from "TBD" to confirmed on the website, along with a price for this option.

Larry Chanin | March 25, 2012

Tesla already has a definitive statement regarding Supercharger network availability in the options and pricing section. That has already been confirmed.

"Cars equipped with a 60 or 85 kWh battery can take advantage of Tesla's growing network of Supercharger stations."

As I mentioned only the pricing of this option has not be determined yet.


stevenmaifert | March 25, 2012

@morris.benoun regarding subscription based chargers in California.

These will be both Level 2 (AC charging) and Level 3 (DC fast charging) chargers. Most Level 2 chargers use the J1772 connector and charging protocol. Tesla uses a proprietary charge port connector on the Model S, but is providing a J1772 adapter so I think it is safe to assume the car will come with the appropriate software protocols for Level 2 charging, regardless of charger manufacturer. All Model S batteries should be capable of Level 2 charging. Although Nissan has figured out how to Level 3 charge their Leaf 24kWh battery, Tesla is not making it available for their 40kWh battery; a mistake IMHO. All the Level 3 chargers I have looked into use the CHAdeMO DC fast charge protocol. I have no idea what protocol the Tesla Supercharger will use, but if not CHAdeMO, then I hope they will make an adapter available as they are for the J1772, because these Level 3 chargers are already operational along parts of I-5 in Oregon.

Subscription based charging refers to the method of payment for use of the charger and, as far as I know, has nothing to do with the electrical connection to the car.

h8young | March 25, 2012

When is Tesla going to announce the locations of the "growing network" of Supercharger stations?

stephen.pace | March 25, 2012

@Vawlkus: True. If I had unlimited funds, that would be a very interesting experiment. I'd drive the Leaf until it went as close to 0 as I could get it, park it for 6 months unplugged, and then attempt to revive it. If it did, good on them. If not, time to test their warranty quoting their blog response! :-)

Larry Chanin | March 25, 2012

When is Tesla going to announce the locations of the "growing network" of Supercharger stations? -

I believe Tesla said this summer.


jhuang | September 7, 2012

According to the recent article below:

Musk: The Supercharger will be available to both the 60-kWh and the 85-kWh packs. The 40-kWh pack is really designed for people who never expect to do long-distance journeys. And on the 60-kWh pack, it's offered as an option and on the 85-kWh pack it's offered as a default because, presumably, someone is buying it for potential long-distance trips.

I thought supercharging hardware and software is standard on the 60 and 85kwh battery packs? Did I miss something!?

Equest | September 7, 2012

My guess based on the hints and info released thus far is that the supercharging network will be a joint effort with the Cracker Barrel chain. They are conveniently located along the Interstate Highway System and generally have large parking lots that could accommodate a large solar array. They offer decent food which was one of the hints recently provided by Elon Musk. Sounds like we will find out for sure within the next 30 days....

richard_lawson | September 7, 2012

That would be great for me. They are throughout the South East. I don't see any California locations, so I doubt it.

pbrulott | September 8, 2012


Without saying anything, TM posted the 60kWh Supercharger hardware as standard in the Design Studio a couple of weeks ago. However, there is still no official announcement to my knowledge about how the 60kWh TMS owners will have access to Supercharger. Possibilities are:

1) Same access as 85kWh
2) Supercharge access comes as an option an enabled via software
3) Different rate vs 85kWh when using the thing

I am ok with #1 and #3 but #2 would be a deception

Sudre_ | September 8, 2012

I think they may still be testing the 60kw battery with different input to see what works best. Once they have it nailed down they will update the charger firmware and/or the S.

murraypetera | September 8, 2012

Now all we need is for tesla to offer it as an option for to 40kwh.
I would hate to be at a public charge station and not be able to leverage this option when the leaf next to me can at 1/2 the price :( very embarrassing this would be.

Sudre_ | September 8, 2012

I think it has already been mentioned that the 40kw battery can be charged in about 30 to 40 minutes with the double chargers. Why spend extra to get that from a super charger, just get the other charger.
The only hope would be is Tesla will offer the other chargers and plugs at their charging station.
80amp Tesla charger
14-50 plugs
J(whatever of the day)

Sudre_ | September 8, 2012

I should clarify. The 85kw battery get about 40kw in 30 minutes.
The 40 kw can get 20 in 30 minutes

Chuck Lusin | September 8, 2012

Looking at the Tesla Charging page:
With 125 Miles of needed charge with the High power charge and twin chargers the page states 1:57 (just about 2 Hours), but with the NEMA 14-50 plug, it would take 3:55. I'm figuring 160 miles, times .85 times .9 as the max range for the 160 mile (40kWh battery) Does that look correct?

jkirkebo | September 8, 2012

"I should clarify. The 85kw battery get about 40kw in 30 minutes.
The 40 kw can get 20 in 30 minutes"

Nope, at least not in the US. The twin chargers deliver 20kW, which means 20kWh into the battery in 1 hour, or 10kWh in 30 minutes.

In Europe you might be able to do 20kWh in 30 minutes, if they deliver the car with a 44kW 3-phase charger (I wish!). More probably it will be delivered with 3 10kW chargers, giving you 15kWh in 30 minutes.