Tesla Cybertruck’s ‘V4′ charging hints at Plaid Model S’ monster peak charge rate

TruckElectric

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Tesla Cybertruck’s ‘V4′ charging hints at Plaid Model S’ monster peak charge rate

During the Tesla Cybertruck’s unveiling last November, CEO Elon Musk subtly commented that the all-electric pickup would be capable of charging at more than 250 kW. Musk did not disclose any other details about the Cybertruck’s possible “V4” Supercharging support, though the innovations that make it possible may very well be tailor-fit for the company’s next-generation of vehicles like the Plaid Model S and Plaid Model X.

The mention of the Cybertruck’s peak charge rate came at the latter part of the vehicle’s unveiling. Unfortunately, Elon Musk was already a bit shaken then due to the vehicle’s failed Armor Glass demonstration. Thus, the CEO’s mention of the key feature almost sounded like an afterthought, with Musk simply stating that the Cybertruck will “be capable of more than 250 kW.” He also mentioned that Tesla will “reveal the actual number later.”

In a way, an improved peak charge rate for the Cybertruck that goes beyond 250 kW is very well within character for the electric car maker. Tesla, after all, appears to be in the habit of introducing upgraded charging systems with every generation of its vehicles. The company’s first and second-generation 120 kW Superchargers were rolled out alongside the ramp of the Model S and Model X, and the 250 kW Supercharger V3 was introduced to support the ramp of the higher volume Model 3 and the Model Y.


With this in mind, there seems to be a pretty good chance that Tesla is preparing “V4” Superchargers for its next generation of vehicles. Tesla’s coming electric cars are expected to have the company’s best and possibly largest battery packs to date, after all, as represented by the Plaid Model S, Plaid Model X, Cybertruck, and perhaps even the Semi. Considering Tesla’s pace of innovation, it may not be surprising if the company’s peak charge rate for the Cybertruck, Plaid Model S, and Plaid Model X ends up being on par or higher than 350 kW.

This who have followed Elon Musk’s tweets over the past years would remember a post back in December 2016 when the CEO mentioned that a peak charge rate of 350 kW was more akin to a “children’s toy.” Musk’s statement may simply be a playful jab at the 350 kW peak charge rates of other charging networks, such as IONITY in Europe and Electrify America, but it does hint that the electric car maker is considering the introduction of a charging system that peaks beyond 350 kW. Since very few vehicles today like the Porsche Taycan are capable of supporting 350 kW charging, a “V4” Supercharger that goes beyond 350 kW would allow Tesla to leapfrog its competitors once more


Such a strategy is actually well within character for the electric car maker, seeing as the company also has a tendency to give competitors a short-lived edge before leapfrogging them. This was the case with the Taycan’s track capability, which was designed to overcome and crush the capabilities of the Model S. Following the Taycan’s unofficial record run at the Nurburgring, Elon Musk announced that the flagship Tesla sedan was taking on the notorious track too, and sure enough, the Plaid Model S completely walked over the Taycan’s unofficial record.

That being said, and with Tesla’s tendency to innovate in mind, it appears safe to assume that the current V3 Superchargers still have a long way to go. The 250 kW chargers are still quite early in their rollout, and thus, Tesla is almost certain to upgrade them and increase their peak charge capabilities in the future. That was the strategy that the company adopted for its V2 Superchargers, which could now charge up to 150 kW. Regardless of whether the Cybertruck’s over 250 kW peak charge rate is due to a “V4” or an upgraded V3 Supercharger, however, there is very little doubt that the next generation of EV fast chargers will be dominated by Tesla once more.

Source: TESLARATI
 

ajdelange

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The Semi can charge considerably faster than 250 kW using the current V3 chargers and, if the CT mimics the Semi's charging architecture, which we all hope it will, then it will be able to charge at rates above 250 too. The hypothesis is that the 180 kWh battery pack is two 90 kW batteries in each with it's own charge port. The two are connected in parallel for running but are isolated for charging. The catch is, of course, that two V3 chargers are required. No problem at the charging stations conceives for the Semi but clearly a potential problem at the normal Super Charger station. Maybe the CT will only be able two charge in double step if it is at one of the Semi stations. Who knows? Who knows if this hypothesized architecture is what will be offered? I don't see a V4 charger anywhere on the near horizon. Over 250 A you get into either having to go to a 900 V architecture (as some manufacturers are doing) or actively cooling cables. Not terribly practical IMO (the active cooling - Rivian has a patent for series/parallel switching battery modules for high voltage charging).
 
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Over 250 A you get into either having to go to a 900 V architecture (as some manufacturers are doing)
Do you think Tesla is going the 900V route(with the Semi and CT) like Lucid?
 

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Elon says a lot of stuff guys. He’s a salesman and a dreamer. He says stuff and not all comes true. Look I believe in him, but come on.. I’m not anti musk or Tesla. I own 3. Plus 2 on. order. But let’s be real and stop looking for clues from some ‘’event’’ that happen. In 2019.

It’s very simple... until he has the technology and batteries in mass production that can deliver big range 500-600 real world range, not a lot is going to change right away. Little steps...


If he had the batteries we would have the Roadster and the Semi already. As for the CT .. we will see
 

ajdelange

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Do you think Tesla is going the 900V route(with the Semi and CT) like Lucid?
No but that's just my feeling. The Semi's are running around charging from multiple 400 (Gen. 2 ) chargers and supposedly use the motors from the 3/Y which are 380 V motors. But there are no production Semis on the road and there are no production CTs so I suppose it is possible.
 

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The Semi can charge considerably faster than 250 kW using the current V3 chargers and, if the CT mimics the Semi's charging architecture, which we all hope it will, then it will be able to charge at rates above 250 too. The hypothesis is that the 180 kWh battery pack is two 90 kW batteries in each with it's own charge port. The two are connected in parallel for running but are isolated for charging. The catch is, of course, that two V3 chargers are required. No problem at the charging stations conceives for the Semi but clearly a potential problem at the normal Super Charger station. Maybe the CT will only be able two charge in double step if it is at one of the Semi stations. Who knows? Who knows if this hypothesized architecture is what will be offered? I don't see a V4 charger anywhere on the near horizon. Over 250 A you get into either having to go to a 900 V architecture (as some manufacturers are doing) or actively cooling cables. Not terribly practical IMO (the active cooling - Rivian has a patent for series/parallel switching battery modules for high voltage charging).
I thought the cables were already actively liquid cooled at a V3 Supercharger?
 

ajdelange

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Actually, now that I think of it, I believe they are. Evidence for this is that the cable for the V3 is thinner. That's pretty strong evidence that there is some kind of active cooling going on.
 
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Crissa

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...Evidence for this is that the cable for the V3 is thinner. That's pretty strong evidence that there is some kind of active cooling going on.
Generally, active-cooled cables are thicker, because of the piping for the cooling fluid.

I have no idea how they're doing it. There are some things you can do by maximizing the exterior surface area of the cable's conductor with stranding and hollowness and whatnot, but how to do it is a good question.

-Crissa
 

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Generally, active-cooled cables are thicker, because of the piping for the cooling fluid.
My understanding is it is the opposite, thinner cable means less metal and less insulation for the heat generated from passing all that current.

With the liquid cooling, the cables can be thinner without the issue of melting the cable due to the power draw.

I am sure AJ can explain better than I can... though I think I have seen such an explanation on here somewhere...
 

Crissa

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My understanding is it is the opposite, thinner cable means less metal and less insulation for the heat generated from passing all that current.
Which is thicker, a coolant hose or an extension cord?

Anyhow, yes, they can use less copper per amp. But the prototypes other companies have shown for active cooling were bulkier because piping is bulky.

Tesla (and Space-X) have solved the difficult problems before, and my prior post said there were theoretical solutions, just very technical ones.

-Crissa
 

ajdelange

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My understanding is it is the opposite, thinner cable means less metal and less insulation for the heat generated from passing all that current.

With the liquid cooling, the cables can be thinner without the issue of melting the cable due to the power draw.

I am sure AJ can explain better than I can... though I think I have seen such an explanation on here somewhere...
The heat generated by a conductor is proportional to the square of the current flowing through it. Thus if you want to double the charging current (for half the charging time at the same voltage) each foot of cable will dissipate 4 times more power and consequently get much hotter unless the heat is shed by some means. Running cold liquid inside the same sheath that carries the wires is clearly the obvious solution. In the design of the Gen 3 (250 kW) as opposed to the Gen 2 (125) the twice the heat would be evolved and have to be disposed of but as the cable is smaller on the Gen 3 and contains the coolant loop as well as the current carrying conductors it is clear that the current density of more than double and that more than 4 times as much heat has to be disposed of. That wasted heat is wasted energy.

One can push twice the power at twice the voltage with half the current meaning 1/4 the power dissipation which means he can use smaller wire without cooling but one must then change his architecture, car and charger, from 400 V to 800V. Clearly there are trades here. Tesla has, for the moment, decided to stick to 400 V. Other manufacturers have not.
 
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Ehninger1212

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The new V3 IS liquid cooled. Possibly even the connector.

"When introducing its new V3 Supercharger, Tesla fixed this issue for the cable with a new “significantly lighter, more flexible, and more efficient” liquid-cooled cable than their previous air-cooled cable found on the V2 Superchargers."

Source:
https://electrek.co/2019/09/30/tesla-patents-liquid-cooled-charging-connector/
 

Brobot_

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Here’s my theory,

The math works out just right if the......

- Single Motor has a single 100kWH @ 400V Battery Pack (50% of 200kWH = 100kWH and 50% of 500 miles = 250 Miles)

- The Dual Motor has 2x 60kWH @ 400V battery packs stacked in series = 120kWH @ 800V Combined Pack (60% of 200kWH = 120kWH and 60% of 500 miles = 300 Miles) (two Model 3 MR packs)

- The Tri Motor has 2x 100kWH @ 400V battery packs stacked in series = 200kWH @ 800V Combined Pack (200kWH @ 500 Miles)

Remember we already know the tri-motor will have a stacked pack based on previously released information from Motortrend
https://www.motortrend.com/cars/tesla/cybertruck/2021/tesla-cybertruck-electric-pickup-photos-info

specifically......

>A new, double-stacked battery will give a tri-motor Cybertruck up to 500 miles of range.

We also know the Cybertruck is meant to charge faster than 250kW. Since the V3 superchargers are already pushing the amps sky high at 631A, I would bet the new gains in charging speed are with increased voltage (hence the stacked packs I show in the dual and tri-motor).

V3 Superchargers may already be quietly equipped to output these higher voltages and require only a small recertification. Most non-Tesla high powered chargers are capable of voltages to as high as 920V. It would make sense to me that supercharger V3 could secretly be capable of the same.

Back out the Math with my assumptions and the peak charging speeds are........

- Single Motor = 250kW (peak speed of existing 400V packs on V3 Superchargers)

- Dual Motor = 2 x 200kW (double the peak speed of a Model 3 MR with a single 60kWH pack on V3 Superchargers) = 400kW

- Tri-Motor = 2 x 250kW (double the peak speed of the fastest current 400V Tesla pack on V3 Superchargers) = 500kW
 

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