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Electrify America switched on the first of its planned 350kW chargers

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,351
10,746
Boise, ID
I wonder what held Elon back not to match this charging speed?
"match"? Match what? Anyone can build a charging station that supplies 350kW or 3,500kW or 35,000kW. There still aren't any cars in existence that can accept that level of power, so there is nothing to match.
This was already a subject back in 2016 and he would have had time to implement it if this was possible with the current battery technology. So my guess is that this battery (cooling) structure can't handle faster charging. Or the chemistry itself?
Yes, battery charging limits and practical use cases. Around 100 to 120kW charging gives a rate that works pretty well for traveling speed, so going higher than that several years ago wasn't much of a priority. Power that high needs liquid cooled cables, which was not a maintenance issue they wanted to get into. And charging rates depend on the size of the batteries, so until batteries got cheaper, so they could start offering bigger ones, the higher power didn't make that much sense. And charge cable thickness is related to the amps. It's already pretty rough doing 300A through a cable you can reasonably manage. You don't want a cable as thick as your leg if they just kept pushing the amps up, so that needs to wait for higher voltage battery packs. Most EVs have been using 350V or 400V, but some (Porsche) are going toward 800V, so they can do double the charging rate at the same amps and cable thickness. Tesla will probably go that way too at some point.
 
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swaltner

Active Member
Oct 13, 2012
1,785
2,021
Kansas, USA
The Electrify America site that went live in Wichita, KS about 2 weeks ago has 4 pylons. 2 stations are dual 350 kW CCS; 1 is a dual 150 kW CCS, the last is a combo 150 kW CCS and 50 kW CHAdeMO. I don’t know if anyone has actually charged at one of the stations.

I’ve had a couple people say, “you got a new charging station.” I usually explain that it’s cheaper/free to charge at home with the solar panels, don’t need it around town with the large battery in the Tesla, and competing standards that are not compatible with my Tesla, at least for now.
 

Kuhz

Active Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,911
2,114
Mars
I’ve had a couple people say, “you got a new charging station.” I usually explain that it’s cheaper/free to charge at home with the solar panels, don’t need it around town with the large battery in the Tesla, and competing standards that are not compatible with my Tesla, at least for now.

I get that a lot too. “Hey there is a new charger at Walgreens you can use! No, thanks, I’ll leave that for the Leafs.”
 
Will traditional car makers build EVs that are capable of 350kw charging if there is no infrastructure for it? I highly doubt it. This is a good future proofing for once. Once enough of these 350kw dc fast chargers are built, auto makers will eventually move to it as the standard.

Tesla doesn't need to respond to this right away. If Tesla wants to increase supercharging speed, they can "unpair" the stalls so they provide the full 120kw-150kw to each stall no matter who is parked in the stalls around them. Maximize what infrastructure is already here and match the capability of the Teslas on the road
 
ChargePoint announced their new Express Plus high power charging system nearly two years ago at CES. They're not ready yet either.

I checked it, they say "Express Plus is a future-proof ultra-fast DC charging platform that grows with demand and accommodates the battery technologies of today’s and tomorrow's EVs. The modular, scalable architecture allows up to 4 Power Blocks to serve each station and send up to 500 kW to a single vehicle."

So they are going to deploy them once there is a demand for them. It's a modular design, one block is 125kW. The technical challenge is not on the station's side, but on the vehicle's.
These chargers will be inevitable, specially for EV trucks. But road trip lovers will welcome them as well. I think the Roadster will be ready for higher charge speeds. Its battery has to be able to handle high currents anyway.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
7,383
7,382
Los Altos, CA
I checked it, they say "Express Plus is a future-proof ultra-fast DC charging platform that grows with demand and accommodates the battery technologies of today’s and tomorrow's EVs. The modular, scalable architecture allows up to 4 Power Blocks to serve each station and send up to 500 kW to a single vehicle."

So they are going to deploy them once there is a demand for them. It's a modular design, one block is 125kW. The technical challenge is not on the station's side, but on the vehicle's.
These chargers will be inevitable, specially for EV trucks. But road trip lovers will welcome them as well. I think the Roadster will be ready for higher charge speeds. Its battery has to be able to handle high currents anyway.
This is all true, except maybe the building block is 31.25kW. ChargePoint also developed and showed a massive new high power connector for future electric passenger drones and heavy vehicles. However, even the smallest of the family, the Express 250, at 62.5kW is not ready yet. This unit uses the same charger building blocks as the bigger cube based charging systems. None of them have passed UL yet. From what I hear, the regulatory approvals are the things keeping these from being deployed. That probably also caused them to be passed over by Electrify America as a supplier while BTC and ABB and even one other (was it Signet?) were chosen to supply EA. Branding and appearance may have also been a sticking point keeping EA and CP from coming together to make a deal.
 
Tesla uses the highest energy density battery which however comes with a price: its thermal runaway temperature is the lowest among all materials and it decreases with higher voltage. So it's possible that the voltage (and so the charge current) on the current battery can't be raised higher otherwise it explodes.
 
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miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
7,383
7,382
Los Altos, CA
Tesla uses the highest energy density battery which however comes with a price: its thermal runaway temperature is the lowest among all materials and it decreases with higher voltage. So it's possible that the voltage (and so the charge current) on the current battery can't be raised higher otherwise it explodes.
Each Tesla pack has its own characteristics due to the specific cells used, the structure of the cooling, and the total number of cells. Some packs have more headroom to charge faster and some have hardly any, relative to current Superchargers. The 100D packs and the Model 3 LR packs have the most headroom and could probably take a peak of 200kW if all the wiring in the car can take the increased current. Teardown has shown that the Model 3 has fatter cables between the charge port and the battery pack than the S and X. EPA docs also say that the Model 3 LR can take up to 525 amps. 380V * 525A = 199,500W.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
12,211
10,616
Maine
Tesla uses the highest energy density battery which however comes with a price: its thermal runaway temperature is the lowest among all materials and it decreases with higher voltage. So it's possible that the voltage (and so the charge current) on the current battery can't be raised higher otherwise it explodes.

Physics doesn't work the way you think it does.
 
See the figure 2 in the link below for the thermal thing. (Tesla uses NCA)
The SOC is basically voltage. The higher the voltage the lower the thermal runaway temperature is (they heat the batteries during the test).
Now the question is, can the battery get charged at a very high current without reaching the voltage where the runaway becomes critical? Cooling is super important.
Thermal runaway of commercial 18650 Li-ion batteries with LFP and NCA cathodes – impact of state of charge and overcharge - RSC Advances (RSC Publishing) DOI:10.1039/C5RA05897J

If you scroll down to NCA in the link below, you will find this comment:

"Thermal runaway 150°C (302°F) typical, High charge promotes thermal runaway"

"High energy and power densities, as well as good life span, make NCA a candidate for EV powertrains. High cost and marginal safety are negatives."

Types of Lithium-ion Batteries – Battery University


Having said that, battery type is like the motor oil: the base may be the same but additives can change its properties up to certain limits.
 
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
12,211
10,616
Maine
See the figure 2 in the link below for the thermal thing. (Trunaway of commercial 18650 Li-ion batteries with LFP and NCA cathodes – impact of state of charge and overcharge - RSC Advances (RSC Publishing) DOI:10.1039/C5RA05897J[/URL]

If you scroll down to NCA in the link below, you will find this comment:

"Thermal runaway 150°C (302°F) typical, High charge promotes thermal runaway"

"High energy and power densities, as well as good life span, make NCA a candidate for EV powertrains. High cost and marginal safety are negatives."

Types of Lithium-ion Batteries – Battery University


Having said that, battery type is like the motor oil: the base may be the same but additives can change its properties up to certain limits.
They aren't going to charge the current batteries faster. They would use a different battery design.
 

gnuarm

Model X 100 with 72 amp chargers
It will be some time before there is a usable network of the Electrify America chargers, even the 150 kW units. Tesla has between 2 and 4 years to ramp up their game to stay ahead of the pack. The big iron car makers aren't sleeping. They are gathering momentum and are going to pretty much burst onto the scene in this same time period. Right now Tesla owns the road for EVs. But soon the only real advantage Tesla will have is the charging advantage. If they don't push hard to keep ahead in that regard they will be plowed under by big iron auto.
 

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