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Charge faster than you could fill a gas tank?

Latest Tweet by Elon Musk. What does he mean?

‏@elonmusk
"There is a way for the Tesla Model S to be recharged throughout the country faster than you could fill a gas tank."

Yeah, I'm thinking the announcement will involve some funny math.

I believe its about topping off your battery using a Supercharger at 120KW/H. 15 minutes for an additional 150 Mile range. Hopefully sooner than later. Yet to see any signs of Superchargers being available in the Northwest. Exciting though.

I think this is the time for the "Step Change in Superchargers", which seems worthy of the no. 5 finale slot.

If the charge rate goes up to 3 or 4C (from 1.2 C now), you get your refill in 10-15 min.

Since it's free, there's no transaction time, so for total in and out time, it's very competitive with gas.

Ultimately, once the peak current buffers (Supercharger batteries, supercap hybrids, etc.) are worked out, there is no reason to look at electric refill as slower than gas. Gasoline moves at gallons per minute. Electrons move at the speed of light. Long term, EV's will fill faster than gas.

This improvement to the suoercharger is a big deal because it changes consumer attitudes about electricity vs.gas.

Some things actually merit their hype.

I think when he tweeted "worldwide" it made me think this battery swapping idea isn't what he has in mind. The infrastructure necessary for that to become a reality is quite extensive.

@Mark C:

"If the charge rate goes up to 3 or 4C (from 1.2 C now), you get your refill in 10-15 min."

Ouch. I thought we weren't supposed to charge at even 1C to stave off battery degradation?

Bollocks; sorry Mark. I meant to write '@ Mark K'...
Edit function, FTW...

If the solution is battery swapping (though I don't think it is), imagine if there was a deterministic way to assign your battery a dollar value based on it's age, usage, etc. Then you could be given a sort of Tesla "debit" card. If you swap your battery for a less valuable battery, you get a credit onto your card. If you swap out for a more valuable battery, you have to pay for it (first use any balance on your card), and maybe annually or something, you can turn any credit you have into cash. Also, perhaps Tesla could preload the card with a certain amount of credit.

With this system, they could also create a big supply of Tesla owned batteries that are used for swapping, and maybe your original battery is just held at the station and not given to anyone else, so that you can always go retrieve your original battery if you wish, and maybe at least they are guaranteed to hold it for a certain time period, like a year, before they release it to others. However, you're not under any obligation to go pick it up, but you are subject to the credit or debit for swapping it back.

That does seem a bit complicated though, lol.

Another solution is too simply have Model S loaners available to owners that can only be used for long trips. They could be free or maybe very low rental cost. So for example, you drive your own Model S 200-300 miles to a Tesla owners-only rental station. You leave your car with them, take their loaner to your destination, and then you pick up your car on the way home.

That seems like it would be expensive for Tesla to operate though, and it wouldn't be good if people abused it for routine trips (or else they would have to control usage by adding high usage fees).

I'm with @thomas.george above. A step change to 120kWh would speak to the LONG-DISTANCE trip times.

1. Almost nobody drives 265 miles in a row and stops for 3 minutes.

2. Actual stop times for long-distance travelers include bathroom, snacks/food and fuel.

3. In retrospect, people misjudge the amount of time they spend during this trip. They also forget that they don't roll into the gas station on fumes. Most people refuel with between 1/8 & 1/4 tank in reserve.

4. The actual time spent is 20-30 minutes. Actual time to fill tank varies from 4-9 minutes.

5. With 120kWh charge, you will be able to put 50-60kWh into the battery in 30 minutes.

I'm still holding out for ultra-capacitor or aluminum backup.

Maybe the tank of gas is the main tank at the station, not the car. ;)

@Mark K wrote: "If the charge rate goes up to 3 or 4C (from 1.2 C now), you get your refill in 10-15 min."

What's "C", the speed of light? Please explain.

@ olanmills

that loaner idea of yours, NO WAY !

i recall musk saying the charging speed was software limited to ensure reliability, maybe they confirm reliability at higher speed now :)

@jperaptor | MAY 9, 2013 NEW
"Battery swap id definitely the only way to charge a 85KWH battery faster then filling up with gas.”

I think that swapping will be a possibility but when I fill my ICE car at COSCO it takes 10=15 minutes in line and 7 min to pump the gas…. 22 min doable with next generation SC.

Are they going to put glass wash (squeegie and clean water) at these next generation superchargers? My windshield is pretty dirty!

It may have something to do with those dual battery patents That Tesla has applied for and which was discussed a couple of weeks ago.

http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/tesla-patent-applications-reveal...

@Bob W

C stands for Capacity. Say the amperage of the battery is 10 Ampère recharging at 1C means 10 Ampère, 2C 20 Ampère and so on.
Typically, battery manufacturers specify C ratings for Charging and Discharging (with discharging being usually much higher).

@Bob - For battery charging, a 1C charge rate means you are charging the battery fully in one hour. Our battery packs are 85 kWh batteries, and thus a 90 kW supercharger would charge it in one hour give or take (if you charged it linearly, which you don't actually, but let's ignore that for now). A 2C charge rate would imply supplying 180 kW of electricity into the battery for 30 minutes. 3C would be 270 kW of electricty for 20 minutes. There are many different types of battery chemistry and specifically many different types of Lithium Ion battery chemistry - each type of battery can be charged at different rates without any (or very little) degradation. Only Tesla and their battery manufacturer really know how far you can push their particular battery, and no doubt Tesla has been doing real world tests for the past several years to really know.

It is thought that Tesla's current 1C charge rate with the supercharger is conservative and there have been rumors that Tesla has gathered enough real world testing results to feel confident about boosting supercharger charge rates past 1C.

To me, the only reasonable way to charge the battery in times comparable to or faster than filling up a gas tank, is thru the use of a supercap/battery hybrid (as mentioned by Mark K above). The supercap could be charged in seconds and then slowly (relatively...1.5C to 2C) discharge into the battery pack as you drive. This would give you the ability to effectively get a full charge in less than 30 seconds. Not to mention that Elon has already commented on the possible use of supercaps in future designs.

I would follow my old physics books, there might be some out of the box thinking. Other battery types have been fast charged by reversing the current shortly. For Li-ion it might be another trick. I have been around engineering long enough that I would never discount anything - I've been surprised too many times. Sure to go from 30 min to 3 min the average current has to go from 200 A to 2000 A... maybe the cables are already in the car to do that ( TM does not tell us everything upfront ). One advantage TM has with it's own connector it is not held back by standards. Also I wouldn't be surprised if they come up with some advanced motor control e.g. from 340 W/m down to let's say 280 W/m so that would push the EPA from 265 m to 320 m. Let's be surprised. Elon is already tweeting to build up the interest for the SC announcement. Super Charger --> Ultra Charger --> Hyper Charger... who knows. What a fun ride.

correction : I would NOT follow my old physics books,

S has 2 charge ports, one left and one right, it has dual chargers, connect both and viola half the chargetime ... up the flow a bit and watch the shorts go long as quickly as possible

Could car swapping be an option? How many longtrips does a car owner do per year? Could it be worth having a loaner car at the superchargers that takes you an extra 300 miles? When you return you return the loaner and pick your car up. Sounds a little expensive, but maybe worth to get rid ofthe 'what if I wantto go farther than 300mi' argument. And from the view that on average you are on the road on a long trip..what..10 days a year? 10 days of 365, 3,6%. See where im going?

Why not charge while you drive? Roads, or portions of roads, could have inductive chargers built into them (fed by solar panels lining, or built into, roads, of course). You'd just need to have the battery close enough to the road to create an efficient charge.

Maybe Elon is fixing the traffic congestion in LA by building double-decker freeways and putting in wireless charging under the pavement at the same time? You charge as you drive...

OK, maybe not feasible yet....but Elon might be there when it is viable.

Ah, as I read the second page of the thread I see Im not first at this idea. Sorry olanmills for ripping idea :)

DavidE35 - How funny, I was on p.1 still when I posted, then I saw your post above mine after I had posted :).

zero mpg

The Model S has two charge ports? News to me. Please clarify.

Elon hinted at a capacitance breakthrough in an interview several months ago and never followed up on it. I'll cast my vote in this direction.

Don't think this isn't about fringe tech for the future. It's about now.

SuperChargers are about to get more Super.

Don't think this is about fringe tech for the future. It's about now.

SuperChargers are about to get more Super.

Wait. Is it possible that the Model S had two charge ports, the second of which we are currently unaware? Could that halve recharge time? It would account for the earlier hint of "it's right under your nose." Seems like there's probably some reason why this wouldn't work, but if that was it it'd be hilarious. And awesome.