As It Sheds Employees, Tesla Promises a Faster Charge

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Tesla, the upstart electric automaker who reminds your author of that person you knew in high school who existed in a perpetual cloud of drama, wants Tesla owners to juice up their cars in a hurry. Recharging times are one factor behind the slow adoption of EVs in North America (cost, range, and recharging availability being the others), so the automaker plans to ensure their time at the Supercharger station doesn’t go overlong.

Expect 75 miles in 5 minutes, Tesla claims.

The automaker’s announcement came last night, in advance of a CNBC report on the state of Tesla’s business (more on that in a bit, but one takeaway is that the company still doesn’t know where it will produce the already hyped Model Y).

Back to Supercharging. Up till now, customers could expect a 120kW charge rate at the company’s fill-up stations, but the V3 Supercharging in the process of being rolled out amps up the rate to 250kW. For the owner of a Model 3 Long Range, this means a 75-mile top-up in a scant five minutes — basically, just enough time to take a leak in the surrounding shrubbery and have a smoke.

A full top-up would be a 15-minute proposition, Tesla claims, and the flow of electrons won’t be stemmed by the presence of another Tesla at the neighboring plug. Currently, a pilot station is in operation in the San Francisco Bay area, available to select customers. Regular Tesla drivers will gain the capability in the second quarter of the year, thanks to an an over-the-air firmware update.

Another 250kW station starts construction in April, and more should come online after the midway point of 2019.

To maximize the speed of the recharge, the automaker will also roll out On-Route Battery Warmup, which heats the vehicle’s battery to an optimum temperature before the driver arrives at a Supercharger station. Charge times could improve by 25 percent via this update alone, Tesla claims.

As for Tesla itself, current and former employees tell CNBC that the last week’s decision to cull most of its stores and go to an online-only sales model caused headcount to shrink 8 percent. Many sales staff are still in the dark about whether their jobs have a future, the sources claimed.

With the official unveiling of the company’s Model Y crossover only a week away, sources say Tesla execs haven’t decided where the model can be built.

From CNBC:

Employees say Tesla executives, including president of automotive Jerome Guillen, are wavering between two options for Model Y production. They are trying to decide whether Tesla should allocate space in the Gigafactory, the company’s massive battery plant outside of Reno, or combine the Model S and Model X body lines at its car plant in Fremont, California to make room to build the crossover SUVs.

Supposedly, volume production of the Model Y (first teased in June, 2017) will occur before the end of next year, likely at Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory. This tidbit is from the company’s last earnings report.

Two sources who work for Tesla vendors claim they didn’t hear from the automaker about Model Y collaboration until after CEO Elon Musk’s Sunday announcement, lending the impression that the model’s manufacturing process is barely an afterthought at this point.

The Gigafactory, employees claim, in not currently set up to handle vehicle assembly, and probably lacks the necessary room.

Early reservation holders had best take any delivery date with a grain of salt.

[Image: Tesla]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Mar 07, 2019

    This production logistics decision is certainly in-tents!

  • Arthurk45 Arthurk45 on Mar 08, 2019

    More BS from Musk. These announcememnts are misleading those unfamiliar with EV technology. The newest version of the Supercharger is 1) not twice as fast for all TEsla vehicles. 2) is still a lot slower than the CCS chargers used by 98% of the automakers which operate at 350KW and have for months and will shortly go to 500KW, as opposed to the new V3 Supercharger's 250KW. The Porsche Taycan was the first to demo charging more than three times as fast as the 120KW Superchargers but any automaker is free to use Porsche's (and VW group's) protocol algorithm without charge. Obviously all CCS EVs will upgrade to 350KW. Every IONITY and Electrify America CCS charger will have the 350KW capability, here and across Europe.

  • ToolGuy Personally I have no idea what anyone in this video is talking about, perhaps someone can explain it to me.
  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):
  • Groza George Stellantis live off the back of cheap V8 cars with old technology and suffers from lack of new product development. Now that regulations killed this market, they have to ditch the outdated overhead.They are not ready to face the tsunami of cheap Chinese EVs or ready to even go hybrid and will be left in the dust. I expect most of their US offerings to be made in Mexico in the future for good tariff protection and lower costs of labor instead of overpriced and inflexible union labor.
  • MaintenanceCosts This is delaying an oil change for my Highlander by a couple of weeks, as it prevented me from getting an appointment before a business trip out of town. Oh well, much worse things have happened.I also just got a dealership oil change for my BMW (thanks, loss-leader prepaid plans!) and this didn't seem to affect them at all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Gonna need more EV fuel.