Leading electric car manufacturer Tesla has demonstrated a new supercharger unit at a research campus in Berlin. The new charger promises even faster recharging times, specifically the possibility of recovering 120 km of range in only five minutes (based on a test carried out with a Model 3).
It’s no big secret that at the heart of the arms race in the EV universe lies the speed at which battery packs can be recharged (along with accessibility). Once companies are able to produce recharging times in the same ballpark as a typical gas-engine tank refill, you can bet that EVs will take a giant leap forward in the marketplace.
In fact, Tesla plans to target more cities with this type of equipment to attract potential buyers concerned about access to recharging.
"Now, as part of our commitment to make Tesla ownership easy and convenient for everyone including those without immediate access to home or workplace charging, we are expanding out supercharging network into city centers."
- Jeroen van Tilburg, Tesla’s head of charging infrastructure in Europe
A company spokesman told reporters that Tesla will open at least one more rapid charging site in a German city centre in 2020, and possibly more.
He added that Tesla still believes in slower charging in the workplace and at home as the primary means of range recovery for vehicles, but the company is looking to offer faster charging for those who need it.
Older Tesla models will benefit from software upgrades so owners can take advantage of this new fast-charging system.
For German policymakers, long committed to increasing demand for electric cars to reduce emissions, this is a key development. Said Germany’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier at the Tesla presentation, "We have a lot to make up for in terms of charging infrastructure."
Recall that Tesla has chosen a site near Berlin for a new plant that’s expected to start operating next year.
For the moment, it’s not known what the company’s plans are for bringing the new system to North America, but now that the technology has launched, it's only a matter of time before it makes its debut here.
Someday, we'll surely look back on the present era with its lengthy recharging times with a chuckle and a shake of the head. It's no longer far-fetched to think that recharging an EV to full capacity soon won’t take any longer than it does to fill a tank of gas.