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Tesla expands Supercharger network in Europe

21 January 2014

Tesla is opening new Supercharger locations connecting the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. As of today, 81 Supercharger locations are energized worldwide, with 14 locations in Europe.

The accelerated energizing of Superchargers in Germany (Wilnsdorf, Bad Rappenau, Aichstetten and Jettingen), Switzerland (Lully), Austria (St. Anton) and the Netherlands (Zevenaar and Oosterhout) represents a new milestone in the expansion of the European network.

In Germany, Superchargers connect Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich. They also connect the German network to Amsterdam, Zurich, and Innsbruck. In the Netherlands, energized routes connect Amsterdam to Cologne and Brussels, and in Switzerland the stations connect Zurich and Geneva.

By the end of March 2014, 50% of the German population will live within 320km of a Supercharger, and 100% of the population will be covered by the end of the year, according to Tesla.

The Tesla Supercharger provides up to 120 kW of DC power directly to the Model S battery using special cables that bypass the onboard charging equipment. Superchargers replenish half a charge in about 20 minutes.

Tesla’s first six Superchargers were energized in California in September 2012, with the first network of European Supercharger stations opening in Norway less than a year later.

January 21, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

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Fast DC Charging stations may become a golden business opportunity by 2020 or so, with 5 to 10 million customers worldwide.

120 kW seems a bit low, the Tesla having about a 300 kWe motor, you could go 240 kWe charging. The charging rate for my laptop is similar to the discharging rate at full power.

For fast charging stations, speed is very important. 20 minutes for half a "tank" is quite long compared to <1 minute it takes to fill up a gasoline car completely. Faster charging also means more cars can be charged per station, likely important for the future where a lot of electric cars will be on the road.

There's likely a big business case also for intermediate speed charging. Coupled to a restaurant. People could take a bit and relax for an hour or two, the restaurant makes a lot of money. You'd get discount on your charging cost if you order more in the restaurant. Free charging with a full meal.

Long-term familiarity with the ease of liquid fueling (or gas) has certainly raised the bar for what is considered acceptable in how long it takes to recharge. Given current battery chemistries, what are the actual limits to faster charging? Is it the battery itself or the electrical capacity required at the charging point? If you cooled a battery as you charged it, would it be able to accept a larger charge more quickly?

acr,

You are confusing peak power with continuous power. 300 kW is peak, 120 kW is continuous.

120 kW is ~1.4C, at the threshold of what Panasonic recommends for their 18650 NCA cells.

Arne: what that means is you'll damage the battery if you drive the Tesla in a sporty fashion most of the time. A little hard to believe. If so Tesla has a problem.

Basically, it would mean that if you can't charge for 300 kWe for 10 minutes, then you'll break the car with 10 minutes on a racing track.

Tesla seems to think they can get a fast charge down to 5 minutes in the long run:

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/516876/forget-battery-swapping-tesla-aims-to-charge-electric-cars-in-five-minutes/

30-40 kWh for a 50% fast charge of a 60-80 kWh pack would need 300-400 kWe charging (actually a fair bit more to account for losses). That's serious.

"what that means is you'll damage the battery if you drive the Tesla in a sporty fashion most of the time.

Basically, it would mean that if you can't charge for 300 kWe for 10 minutes, then you'll break the car with 10 minutes on a racing track.

You've put your imagination in the driver's seat.

The Model S is not a track car. It will protect its battery by reducing power if driven hard around a track (as owners have confirmed).

Even if it would not do so, you would be hard-pressed to actually achieve 300 kW continuous, since a track has curves for which you have to throttle back. Apart from that, you'll quickly hit the 210 km/h top speed, at which point the Model S's speed limiter kicks in by reducing power.

Please stick to the facts, Tesla engineers are smart enough not to build a car that would destroy itself.

In case you missed the bloody obvious: The Model S was designed for daily use on normal roads. Achieving 300 kW continuous is totally impossible there.

"Please stick to the facts, Tesla engineers are smart enough not to build a car that would destroy itself."

That's my point. If the car can take a few minutes of 300 kWe discharging, it should be able to take a few minutes of charging at that rate.

Though I do note, that Jeremy Clarkson, the lead presenter of Top Gear UK, driving like a lunatic on his track, managed to break multiple Tesla Sportsters early on.

I drive sometimes on the Autobahn in Germany, the high end sedans that the Model S is competing with, are able to work at 200 kW continuously @ 250 kph. Of course the German market is an exception here.

But I do think the model S is well engineered and that's why it should be able to take 300 kW of charging for a short time for a 50% charge from say, 30% to 80% SOC. Consumer battery fast chargers are now available for 15 minute fast charge.

The story from Technology Review indicates that Tesla feels they can go for a 5 minute 50% fast charge in the future. Fast charging tech is developing rapidly. For Li-ion the limit likely becomes the cooling system capacity to prevent the battery from overheating.

"That's my point. If the car can take a few minutes of 300 kWe discharging"

Nope. In normal life, the car will never get 300 kW during a few minutes. Try a few seconds. Then it reaches top speed and the speed limiter will kick in and reduce power. To go 210 km/u, the Model S probably needs ~130 kW. That is right in line with the max continuous power of the Supercharger.

"it should be able to take a few minutes of charging at that rate."

And what good would a few minutes do when you want to fill an 85 kWh battery?

"managed to break multiple Tesla Sportsters early on."

Ah, changing subjects. Troll tactic. And if your point is to say: you see, a Tesla can break. Good for you, I never said it couldn't.

"are able to work at 200 kW continuously @ 250kph."

The Model S is not capable of 250 km/h, so wrong comparison there.

"The story from Technology Review indicates that Tesla feels they can go for a 5 minute 50% fast charge in the future."

Did you read that? it says: in the future, as in: not today, meaning: not with the current batteries. Currently the Model S battery can not charge at 300 kW. Today's 120 kW Superchargers gradually reduce power above ~50% SoC. Why would Tesla do that? I think you know the answer.

Resistance is futile, future extended range BEVs with 120 to 140 kWh battery packs will need 240 KW quick charging stations for a guaranteed 500 Km range.

Those high capacity battery packs will be lighter and smaller than current 85 kWh installed in the Tesla S-85. Improved cooling will have to be used.

@Harvey,
How fast a battery can be charged will depend of the chemistry and internal construction. High-capacity pack will not necessarily allow fast charging. There is a separate C rating for discharging and charging.

For example, modern high-performance Lithium Polymer batteries can be discharged at 40 C max and charged at 8 C max. However, 2 C charging is recommended to extend the life of the battery.

Too fast charging or discharging, even within the C rating, will shorten the life of the battery. Generally, high C rating will decrease the energy density of the battery, due to thicker electrodes designed to handle the high current.

Furthermore, cooling is never required during Lithium battery charging, even at 1-2 C, or even at 8 C for battery rated for 8-C charging. Lithium battery has such a low internal resistance that it does not get hot during charging within its rated C limit. The charger, however, requires cooling due to heat production concentrated within a small area. Lithium polymer battery rated at 40 C does not get hot during routine use, since only very briefly is the 40 C discharge is reached, if at all! For example, if a 20 kWh pack is discharged at 40 C, the total current will be 800 kW! Fit for a BEV F-1 racer!

To quick charge a 140+ kWh battery pack to 80% in 10 minutes or less will require very heavy charging facilities. The burden per charging cable or charger could be shared by temporary splitting the battery pack and by using four channel chargers, much the same way as multi task computer CPUs do it.

Batteries will evolve at an increasing rate and so will their charging rate.

What is considered impossible to do today may be common place in 10 or 20 years. Future extended range EVs will automatically find and direct or drive the e-vehicles to the closest appropriate charging facilities 'just in time'.

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