Tesla Just Threw Down The Gauntlet
One of the most significant disadvantages of an electric vehicle is its charging time. Even the fastest-charging cars, such as the Tesla Model Y, charge at 275 kW, which means filling a full tank can take up to 45 minutes. This speed, combined with Tesla’s supercharger network, made their cars head and shoulders above the competition a few years ago. But now, rivals have caught up, and third-party chargers are as plentiful and powerful as those of Tesla. It seems Tesla has lost its tech advantage. However, in a recent event, Musk demonstrated they still have the upper hand by announcing that the Cybertruck will have the same 1 MW charge speeds as the Semi! This means that the Cybertruck could charge from 0% to 70% in only 6 minutes. So how has Tesla pulled this off?
Let’s start with the Semi. At the Semi Delivery Event, where Musk handed over the first Tesla Semis to Pepsi, he showed the excited crowd just how impressive the Semi is. With its 1000 kWh (or 1MWh) battery pack, the Semi can travel 500 miles on a single charge with a full load! Tesla even released a timelapse video of the Semi doing just that, proving that this isn’t just some theoretical driving range. This is an utterly remarkable feat of efficiency that no other EV Semi can even come close to.
But Musk also showed that this battery pack, unlike all other Teslas, is not wired to be 350 volts. Instead, it uses 1,000 volts (or 1 kV) architecture, enabling charge speeds of 1,000 kW (or 1 MW)! At this insane rate, the Semi can charge from 0% to 70% in 30 minutes. Just for reference, it takes the same amount of time to charge a Model Y from 10% to 80%, but its battery pack is over 12 times smaller.
What’s even more impressive is that Musk has achieved this without using new battery technology. You see, the Semi doesn’t even use Tesla’s latest and “revolutionary” 4680 battery, as its production is still having significant difficulties (read more here). Instead, it uses the same 2170 cells found in the Model S, X, 3, and some Y variants. So how can it charge so quickly?
Tesla can’t make each individual cell charge faster than it can. Therefore, instead of charging one after the other, it wired its batteries so that they could all charge as quickly as they could, all at…