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Why did Tesla develop urban superchargers?

I've been trying to read about this on the internet but it's difficult to find something clear. Some sources suggest they give a predictable, constant charge rate so one could plan a visit around that... for instance if you knew your charge would take 30 minutes you could go shopping for 20 minutes.

Other sources suggest the charge rate (72kw/h) is lower than the non-urban superchargers to accommodate people who live in urban areas and do not have access to home charging - so they can use urban superchargers to recharge on a regular basis but (per the internet) do less damage to their battery. The suggestion is that the 72kw/h rate causes less degradation than the higher power superchargers.

But it seems all of this is speculation - I've never seen anything from Tesla saying why they created urban superchargers.

Does anyone have any info on this? Sorry if I've missed something in my reading.

Thanks!
 
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Chuq

Active Member
Jan 1, 2015
3,841
4,791
Hobart, Tas, Aus
All of those are valid reasons!

Another one was that urban chargers are physically smaller and are easier to install in certain locations (indoor/undercover car parks).

Given they are fed from the same 150 kW cabinets as V2, it might have seemed a bit pointless at the time, but in hindsight with the launch of V3 superchargers, you can also see how Tesla would have been planning for the future. New sites will probably end up a mix of 72 kW for urban and 250 kW for highway travel.

Also a note - the urban superchargers only exist in North America - they don't have space for the two cables that are needed in Europe, Australia, NZ etc.

This is the "official" Tesla statement: Supercharging Cities
 
Other sources suggest the charge rate (72kw/h)
...
72kw/h rate causes less degradation than the higher power superchargers.
"72kw/h" makes no sense. Charging rate is measured in kW. Watts are already joules per second, so joules per second per hour makes no sense.

If you charged at a full 72 kW for 1 hour, 72 kWh was dispensed so, 72 kWh/h (72 kWh per h). The h's cancel out, leaving you with 72 kW.

Tesla Urban Supercharger: Compact 72 kW Stations Designed For City Centers points to the same "official" statement.
 

swaltner

Active Member
Oct 13, 2012
1,711
1,813
Kansas, USA
One of the "stated" (in quotes, because I don't have a reference handy) goals is that the Urban Superchargers have lower installation costs. They are reportedly easier to install the connections between the Supercharger cabinets and charging pedestals. Many of the Urban sites have wiring installed in wiring troughs or trays, although I don't know why that would be a difference for the two types of pedestals. In addition to lower labor costs for installation, since the potential power draw of each pedestal is half the "standard" Supercharger, the connection to the pedestal only supports half the "standard" current. Lower current means smaller gauge wires, means lower costs.
 

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
4,289
Buford, GA
I've been trying to read about this on the internet but it's difficult to find something clear. Some sources suggest they give a predictable, constant charge rate so one could plan a visit around that... for instance if you knew your charge would take 30 minutes you could go shopping for 20 minutes.

Other sources suggest the charge rate (72kw/h) is lower than the non-urban superchargers to accommodate people who live in urban areas and do not have access to home charging - so they can use urban superchargers to recharge on a regular basis but (per the internet) do less damage to their battery. The suggestion is that the 72kw/h rate causes less degradation than the higher power superchargers.

But it seems all of this is speculation - I've never seen anything from Tesla saying why they created urban superchargers.

Does anyone have any info on this? Sorry if I've missed something in my reading.

Thanks!

Urban chargers are designed for areas such as malls. There's often a lot more of them deployed than normal Superchargers. By giving a flat charge rate, it is easier to see how long you have to shop before you need to move the car. (and since the number of pedestals is higher, 50% doesn't kick in as fast).
I suspect that there's also some optimization of the back end equipment to allow it to fit inside garages a little easier.
 

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