Tesla’s first V4 Supercharger has just been inaugurated in the Netherlands. It’s a small revolution, with an ultra-long cable, finally making it possible to charge any electric car. But beware, the power has not increased compared to the V3 Superchargers, and we explain why.
Tesla’s V4 Superchargers should revolutionize the charging of competing electric cars! Indeed, their main novelty is the addition of a cable of about 3 meters, as you can see on the first photos shared on Twitter. This allows to solve the biggest problem of V3 Superchargers : their too short cable prevented some electric cars from competing brands from being recharged without having to occupy two slots.
A situation that is explained by the fact that some cars have the charging hatch on the opposite side of the Tesla. What annoy the customers of the cars of the firm of Elon Musk when the station is almost full and that a free terminal is thus made inaccessible.
But that will soon be history, thanks to the V4 Superchargers. The first station has just opened in the Netherlands, as Tesla announces on Twitter, not far from Amsterdam as we relayed yesterday in our columns. Some media are announcing that the V4 Superchargers will deliver much higher charging power than the V3 Superchargers they replace. But this is not at first sight true, and we explain why.
The most powerful Tesla V4 Superchargers? Not so fast!
What allows some to announce an increase in power is the publication on Twitter of the certification labels found behind the transformers located near the terminals. Our journalist Bob has moreover posted on his Twitter account a label of a V3 Supercharger alongside that of a V4 Supercharger. On the terminal’s maximum output power, we stay on the same values between the two generations, namely 250 kW, thanks to a maximum voltage of 500 volts and a peak intensity of 631 amps. It is the energy that is sent to the car.
On the DC input part (what the terminal receives as direct current energy), we do not see any differences, with a maximum of 575 kW received by the terminal, a maximum voltage of 1,000 volts and an intensity of 640 amps. This is the energy that the charging station can receive from the storage batteries hypothetically present on the site, or via solar panels.
Finally, on the AC input part (what the terminal receives as energy from the electrical network), we can see a difference. This goes from 430 to 465 amperes, and therefore from 350 kVa (at 480 volts) to 387 kVa (at 480 volts). Which means that the terminal can receive more power from the electrical network.
What does it change in practice?
In practice, what does it change? In reality, not much. Charging electric cars will always be limited to 250 kW on Teslas, and around 200 kW on cars from other manufacturers. The difference is explained by the fact that Tesla does not respect the CCS standard by increasing the maximum intensity from 500 to 600 amps, unlike other manufacturers. This allows it to grab these 50 kW of additional power.
On the other hand, V4 Superchargers could be faster than V3 in some cases. The first case is in case of station congestion. On the V3, four terminals share the power of a transformer. On the V4s, we don’t know if this is still the case, but it’s very likely. In this case, the shared power will be higher, thanks to the energy drawn from the electricity network, which increases from 350 to 387 kVa. But in fact, you shouldn’t really feel this difference, which is negligible.
What casts doubt is the presence of another label, directly on each terminal, which announces a voltage of 1,000 volts for an intensity of 615 amps. Either a maximum power of 615 kW. On V3 Superchargers, that label said 1,000 volts and 425 amps… when they were capable of outputting over 600 amps in practice. In short, it is impossible to rely on this label to draw a conclusion.
But it is therefore not impossible that the Superchargers can eventually manage a power greater than 250 kW. But that would require material adjustments, since the terminals can supply a vehicle up to 250 kW. We imagine that this could be the case for the V4 Superchargers in the United States, to recharge the Cybertruck and its architecture at 800 volts.
Faster charging for Kia and Hyundai?
The second case where V4 Superchargers might be faster is with certain electric cars equipped with with an 800 volt architecture. We know that electric cars based on the E-GMP platform (Kia EV6, Kia EV9, Hyundai Ioniq 6, Hyundai Ioniq 5) are incompatible with Tesla Superchargers, and have a limited charging speed on the latter. Maybe the V4 Superchargers will solve this problem.
Anyway, Tesla does not have the fastest charging stations on the market. With a power of 250 kW, they are the fastest in 400 volts. But as soon as you switch to 800 volts, Tesla is well behind the competition and first and foremost by Ionity, its big competitor, with 350 kW. Lidl and Kallista do even better, at 360 kW. Fastned managed to climb to 400 kW. But that’s nothing compared to the Chinese giant Geely with its 600 kW terminal. Enough to charge an electric car in just 10 minutes.
Note also that at Ionity, the label announces a maximum voltage of 920 volts and an intensity of 500 amps, or 460 kW in theory, while they are announced for a maximum of 350 kW.
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