Last night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Tesla Semi program manager Dan Priestley introduced the first production-ready Semi trucks and presented them to Frito-Lay and Pepsi, Tesla’s first partners for the Semi program. At the end of the presentation, Musk and Priestley made the surprise “one more thing” announcement that the fourth generation of its Supercharger technology would be rolling out soon in 2023, here’s what we can expect from that V4 Supercharging:
The executives didn’t take the time to go into a lot of detail about V4 Supercharging, and there’s no information about it on the Tesla website just yet. However, we did get a few small details. Priestley mentioned the new small charging cables are liquid-cooled and capable of more than three times the DC-fast charging density as the current V3 charging system, with one megawatt, or 1,000 kW, of energy density now available.
Priestley mentioned that the new wire features the conductor immersed in the water-based coolant, with a lot of current being shoved through a small, manageable cord at controllable temperatures, compared to competitive fast-charging systems.
Who Can Use V4?
Given it was announced at the Tesla Semi production reveal, the megawatt superchargers are intended to primarily service Tesla’s growing electric Semi fleet, as production and deliveries expand next year. Along with the Semis, Musk confirmed on stage that the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck pickup would also feature similar megawatt-capable technology when it’s eventually produced, though it’s possible its scaled back slightly for the smaller truck.
It’s unclear for now how Tesla intends to roll out its megawatt-capable infrastructure. It’s likely the first supercharger stations to get the tech will be brand-new, and likely focused along the delivery routes for Tesla’s primary Semi clients like Pepsi and Frito-Lay. It’s possible that some supercharger locations also get upgraded to feature the megawatt-capable chargers. It’s unclear how many potential charging stalls will be available at each station, and we don’t yet know which vehicles beyond Semis and Cybertrucks will be able to use these stations, if any at all.
At this point, it’s all but inevitable that Semis will soon be on the roads, and upgraded and new megawatt-capable charging stations start cropping up along the roadside. What isn’t so clear, however, is how the energy grid will manage these extremely energy-dense requirements these chargers come with. Musk did point out on stage that Tesla is working with companies to minimize grid impact with the assistance of its battery pack storage and solar panel businesses, so we expect to see both employed in the construction of these new chargers, as well.
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