Things I noticed charging my Tesla Model 3 LR AWD at the very first V3 Superchargers in the Northeastern United States
On Monday January 27 2020, I enjoyed some pleasant weather on my afternoon career related road trip from my home in Wethersfield Connecticut, heading to the Philadelphia Pennsylvania area for the evening. That's about 419 miles to cover, in one day. Knowing I'd be passing by the Fairfield Connecticut Supercharger that opened in earlier this month, I decided this was a great opportunity to document the charge rates I'd be getting on this somewhat mild winter day of 45°F / 7.8°C. Details with video below, read onward!
Normally, you leave your garage with your Tesla charged to around 90% for daily driving, more if you're about to take a long trip. But for several days before this trip, I used A Better Route Planner to calculate how much battery capacity I'd need to lave home with to make sure I'd arrive in Fairfield at around 10% remaining. That way, I'd have a better shot at seeing some faster charge rates. The calculation worked out pretty well, as you'll see me start my charge session at 11%.
Note that despite setting my destination as the Fairfield Supercharger on I-95 Southbound, the usual Preconditioning your battery for Supercharging message never appeared. This could be because my car battery was apparently warm enough already, or the car was making sure I would make it to the Supercharger, so using more energy to warm the battery wouldn't be the smart thing to do. See also TMC's Battery Preconditioning for Supercharging thread.
This visit was also a great opportunity to accurately collect charge rates in a detailed graph form using TeslaFi, which I've written about many times starting in January 2019. It also afforded me the opportunity to compare/contrast with a roughly equivalent V2 Supercharger session I've done on a past road trip. I suspect we'll need considerably warmer temps to really see a V3 go even faster here in the Northeastern US, but based on this first V3 visit, speeds are looking pretty good. Over time, with more V3 experience under their belt, Tesla might offer further firmware tweaks to the Model 3 to see even faster charging, we'll see.
Overall, I'd say the amount of time spent at the highest charge levels was pretty short, but I knew this already based on some information coming from visitors to the V3 Supercharger in Las Vegas.
Here's Tesla's claims.
"Up to 180 miles in 15 minutes" - this spot in the official Tesla video.
"...reducing average charge times for owners by 25%" - in the Mar 06 2019 article Introducing V3 Supercharging, here's some more excerpts:
Faster Charging, No More Power Sharing
V3 is a completely new architecture for Supercharging. A new 1MW power cabinet with a similar design to our utility-scale products supports peak rates of up to 250kW per car. At this rate, a Model 3 Long Range operating at peak efficiency can recover up to 75 miles of charge in 5 minutes and charge at rates of up to 1,000 miles per hour. Combined with other improvements we’re announcing today, V3 Supercharging will ultimately cut the amount of time customers spend charging by an average of 50%, as modeled on our fleet data.
Supercharger stations with V3’s new power electronics are designed to enable any owner to charge at the full power their battery can take – no more splitting power with a vehicle in the stall next to you. With these significant technical improvements, we anticipate the typical charging time at a V3 Supercharger will drop to around 15 minutes.
Here’s a story about 100 miles of range added in 7 minutes.
I actually had a chance to see contractors working on those new 1MW power cabinets at the new Tesla V3 Supercharger that's under construction in Meriden Connecticut, but this trip, I had a great opportunity to actually use one!
Here's what I found:
- As usual, there can be some loud clunks from the battery pack during charging in colder weather. Despite Tesla Service of Milford CT replacing my battery breathers for free a couple of weeks ago during a routine brake service visit, this minor annoyance persists. See also Banging noise while super charging. Not a big deal at all Superchargers, but a little strange when heard through the wall to our garage. My wife’s 2020 Model 3 SR+ occasionally makes the same noises.
- There are some intervals of a little noise heard and some vibration felt in the car during charging, likely from the coolant circulating in the now-thinner charging cable. Barely noticeable.
- Everything else about the experience is very much like a V2, but without any worry whether somebody will pull in right next to you and share your charger and slow you down, which is great!
I've got some videos for you below, followed by some summary observations about the data/graphs.
From my video (first one above), you can see at about 1 minute into the charging session, I hit 220 kW which for this car is 898 mi/hr (miles of range added per hour). Turns out the TeslaFi data isn't quite as granular, showing a peak of 874.8 mi/hr charge rate. Looking closely at the graph is interesting, especially as you compare it with a V2 session from a year earlier. Click on the screenshot to make it larger, use left and right arrows to quickly go back-and-forth.
I also heard a recent podcast (above) where the loud noises when charging are mentioned, and found more references to the issue online in this earlier NHTSA Service Bulletin SB-18-16-005 about earlier part number 1108907-00-A, and Oct 2018 clunking noise while super charging and Jan 2019 Loud bang under driver while Super Charging on Tesla Forums.
I should add that my wife's car went on a 200 mile round trip when it was just a few days old. It was about 45°F in our garage, but it was a mere 14°F outdoors. Our range estimates dropped as the battery cooled. Not only were noises heard when charging, they were also heard while driving too.
I have an update on Part Number - 1108907-00-B | Description BREATHER, NITTO ZH-PLUG-S issue, it's all in my recent email to Tesla Service in Milford CT actually. Here's a copy:
From: Paul Braren
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2020 7:16 PM
Subject: RE: Invoice # 3000S0000711988 and the SB-19-16-010 "Replace HV Battery Breathers" line item
Dear Service Advisors
Just an FYI, my vehicle Model 3 VIN 5YJ3E1EBXJF119XXX
experienced the same loud banging noises when V3 Supercharging on Monday Jan 27th, 3 times in all during 38 minutes of charging at 45°F. I actually have them recorded.
It’s certainly not a serious issue, but I just thought you might want to know that Job #8 on my invoice 3000S0000711988 didn’t seem to fix what this Service Bulletin is said to fix, published at NHTSA here:
Therefore, I’m not in a hurry to try this breather replacement on my wife’s VIN 5YJ3E1EA4LF612XXX
2020 Model 3 SR+ that also makes banging noises when charging, even when home charging in our garage at 32 amps. At least not until Tesla is more sure that the issue is mitigated.
Thanks again for getting those cosmetic issues on my wife’s 2020 Model 3 SR+ fixed promptly and correctly upon first attempt. This really restored my faith that Tesla can make the delivery experience a good one, very much appreciated. Please let that service technician know he’s amazing!
Here's the line item from my Jan 15 2020 service invoice for my 2018 Model 3 LR AWD:
See also me sharing more about my experience with automatic preconditioning and my charge rates when traveling home last night up I-95 North, my first V3 Supercharging experience at the Darien Connecticut location. Details at TMC forums at Supercharger - Darien CT Rest Area. See also more about Supercharger - Meriden, CT.
At the new V3 Supercharger on I-95 North in Fairfield Connecticut, I gave it another go, reaching a peak of 150 kW. So even though it's V3, it seems to currently be capped at V2 speeds. Four of the stalls had their Tesla lights off.
One person who goes by Big Earl reportedly got 206 kW at Fairfield CT on Jan 03 2020.
At the new V3 Supercharger in Meriden Connecticut, I gave it another go, reaching a peak of 195 kW / 796 mi/hr in my Model 3 LR AWD. I also noticed plastic bags covering 4 of the stalls, so perhaps they're still doing work on this location.
Stopped by Meriden just to see if the stalls had plastic bags on them. They didn't, but at least one of the stalls that had plastic over them didn't work.
Seems I'm not the only one noticing the charge curves don't really seem very fast so far, at least not yet, for V3 Supercharging in moderately cold temperatures. I feel like it might be an early deployment thing, with several stations here in Connecticut having brand new pumps with out of service bags over them, and less than full speeds. Maybe Tesla just goes easy with the speeds until they know the transformers and cabinets can handle more. Or may it really is just the ambient temperatures. It's mostly conjecture at this point, based on feedback in forums and on twittter.
Also note that the Fast EV Lightning Run guys are experiencing roughly the same speed limits in winter that I've been noticing, see also The “Fast EV Lightning Run” Across Canada In A Tesla Model 3.
Ian Pavelko mentions that getting enough power to these remote locations may have been an issue for some V3 locations.
Guest Kyle then explains he's had great speeds with his Model 3 Long Range RWD, that car would stay at 250 kW the whole way.
He also has a video about these V3 issues. He noticed Freemont factory has V3 capped at 150 kW.
I haven't seen more than 212 kW with my Performance buyt I wouild regularly get 250 in my RWD before, again everything heated up and prepared.
If the BMS is really confused, it may not know what charge the car is at, it could be 5-7% confused given their car never just sat there on the always-on cross country.
On older software at 100% charge, it would always kick on and off over and over and over, cuz it was alwyas jut pushing those voltages up as it would bleed the pack across all the individual bricks, the Model 3 has 4. Other than that, it's just random V3 software issues that I have yet to track down, I'm sure there's multiple different ones.
Kyle mentioned only get 250 kW from 11 to 20% on the current charge profiles, it's super conservate.
Bjørn has a close look at variable charge speeds on some Model 3s, and discusses the possibility of permanent nerfing. See also Nerfed Supercharge speed on Tesla Forums, which has a link to the excellent article at TeslaTap, with V2 and V3 charging curve charts that certainly look quite different than mine:
I've added all my AC charges and DC Supercharger session history to the image at right here, click twice to zoom in and pan down.
So, from January 2019 to April 18 2020, here's some very interesting stats:
- AC charged at 1,145 locations, 6,276 kWh, 41 days 7 hrs 17 min, $1,095.71.
- Supercharged 68 times at 43 locations, 2,178.88 kWh, 1 day 8 hrs 40 min, $611.73.
All Charges Total:
- 8,454.94 Total kWh Added, Total time 42 days 11 hrs 20 min, Total Cost $1,707.44.
Free Supercharging: If you find this article of value and decide to order a Tesla, please consider using this ts.la/paul68544 referral link when placing your order so you and I both get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. If you order Solar, it's a $250 award after system activation.
Disclosure: My family owns no stock in Tesla. Tesla doesn't advertise at TinkerTry, or anywhere else, and this is not a sponsored post. We financed the purchase of two Tesla Model 3s, replacing my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in December of 2018 and replacing my wife's 2005 Honda Civic EX in December of 2019. These big moves to an all electric household were an expression of our mutual desire to go green, avoid gasoline, be safe, have fun, and save money in the long run. Mostly for my job, I drive a lot, 25,000 miles in 2019 for example, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I've learned with you. I hope you can tell!
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