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Tesla Launches Faster Third Generation Supercharger

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Tesla announced that it has developed a new, faster Supercharger for its electric vehicles. Currently, the company's almost-13,000 Superchargers top out at 120kW.
It's called the V3 Supercharger, and it can support up to 250kW per car, from a cabinet that's rated at 1MW. Tesla says that "[a]t 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.
 

https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-supercharger-v3-first-look-video/

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Speed of battery charging is definitely a downside of electric vehicles. We haven't gotten to the point where recharging your car is like pulling into a filling station spending 5 minutes pumping gas and driving off. So this is definitely going to help in that regard because for electric cars truly to be successful they also need to be convenient.

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I wonder how pre-warming the battery affects longevity and health. I would assume that they're going to do a lot of testing about dumping that much energy into the batteries that quickly. Batteries get hot when they charge and the faster they charge the hotter they get. I'm no expert on the subject but I would imagine that there would be an upper limit to how fast you could charge a battery safely.

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No splitting between adjacent chargers is as big a deal as 250 KW charging rate. Its essentially 4 times the current speed.

While VW’s Electrify America is setting 350 KW chargers, most of VW group’s cars are not capable of using that peak rage, excpet Porsche Taycan which is capable of utilizing 350 KW chargers as of now. 

 

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Tesla Reportedly Sending Employees Home Mid-Shift, Cutting Assembly Inventory

Literally hours after we reported that Tesla was firing even more people at its Fremont, California factory – layoffs that appeared to have not been included as part of a disclosed plan – the company implemented even more significant cost-cutting efforts that have already affected employee work schedules and impacted the supply of parts used to make vehicles. As CNBC reports, Tesla is sending employees home and cutting basic inventory at its Fremont factory.

The report stated that there were several new cost reduction measures launched by Tesla, but these haven't made public.

First, the company is apparently asking employees to work remotely and keep their travel costs to a minimum. 

Second, the company is telling hourly employees at its Sparks, Nevada Gigafactory, where Tesla makes batteries and drivetrains, to leave in the middle of their shifts. The company is also telling employees to take paid or unpaid time off, according to the report. 

... But what is most troubling - for investors in the $50 billion market cap company - is that this recent slate of layoffs is the third such round of layoffs over the last 12 months. This follows a 9% workforce reduction in June and a 7% cut in January. One wonders if these are all just hallmarks of a "growth story" that deserves a ridiculously premium valuation.

 

Most puzzling of all is that this news all follows a June 2018 e-mail, where Elon Musk claimed to employees that he would never have to initiate another round of layoffs.

"I also want to emphasize that we are making this hard decision now so that we never have to do this again," Musk said in June; in retrospect, "never" has a slightly different meaning in "longville."

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On 3/7/2019 at 6:59 PM, Brian W said:

Speed of battery charging is definitely a downside of electric vehicles. We haven't gotten to the point where recharging your car is like pulling into a filling station spending 5 minutes pumping gas and driving off. So this is definitely going to help in that regard because for electric cars truly to be successful they also need to be convenient. 

The current 30-45 minutes is too long, but I'd be perfectly happy with 10-15 minutes.  Long trips are the only time I'd use a supercharger, and I tend to stop for 10-15 minutes anyway just to walk around. 

What do you estimate the public will tolerate? 

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On 3/7/2019 at 7:56 PM, Tom Kirkman said:

Tesla Reportedly Sending Employees Home Mid-Shift, Cutting Assembly Inventory

Literally hours after we reported that Tesla was firing even more people at its Fremont, California factory – layoffs that appeared to have not been included as part of a disclosed plan – the company implemented even more significant cost-cutting efforts that have already affected employee work schedules and impacted the supply of parts used to make vehicles. As CNBC reports, Tesla is sending employees home and cutting basic inventory at its Fremont factory.

 The report stated that there were several new cost reduction measures launched by Tesla, but these haven't made public. 

First, the company is apparently asking employees to work remotely and keep their travel costs to a minimum. 

Second, the company is telling hourly employees at its Sparks, Nevada Gigafactory, where Tesla makes batteries and drivetrains, to leave in the middle of their shifts. The company is also telling employees to take paid or unpaid time off, according to the report.  

... But what is most troubling - for investors in the $50 billion market cap company - is that this recent slate of layoffs is the third such round of layoffs over the last 12 months. This follows a 9% workforce reduction in June and a 7% cut in January. One wonders if these are all just hallmarks of a "growth story" that deserves a ridiculously premium valuation.

   

Most puzzling of all is that this news all follows a June 2018 e-mail, where Elon Musk claimed to employees that he would never have to initiate another round of layoffs.

"I also want to emphasize that we are making this hard decision now so that we never have to do this again," Musk said in June; in retrospect, "never" has a slightly different meaning in "longville." 

Sounds troubling when you put it that way. On the other hand:

1)  "Cutting inventory" is a standard goal of lean manufacturing because inventory is waste.  The goal is to make product to order in batch sizes of one with zero WIP sitting between stations.  Cutting inventory is always a good sign.  If you must have a canary metric, use something else. 

2)  Manufacturing automation has always been a goal at Tesla.  Initially, they attempted to automate too much too fast, which led to scaling back technology and hiring more employees.  However, Tesla never gave up the goal of automating, and automation technology advances rapidly.  It's possible Tesla used automation to reduce man hours, which in turn is causing layoffs. 

3)  Companies regularly use "layoffs" to cull unproductive employees.  In Ye Olden Days, they'd just fire you outright.  Thanks to labor protection laws and the untrustworthy, litigious society America has developed, directly firing people is risky.  To circumvent these laws, companies find business reasons to reduce labor.  This prevents discrimination lawsuits.  For Tesla, this is a critically important activity: they're growing an organization, which forces them to hire people of unknown quality.  Hiring some riffraff is unavoidable; they need a way to jettison that riffraff.  Cue automation and layoffs.  Yes, Musk said they'd never do this again, but only an idiot would believe that promise would supersede business necessity. 

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On 7/2/2019 at 7:51 AM, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

What do you estimate the public will tolerate? 

How fast will they be able to charge their cars with no electricity at all? Never thought of it this way but I can dump gas in my vehicles from a can and just keep on keepin', can't do that with a 65k Tesla though....LMAO, tell em to tolerate that!!

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16 hours ago, SERWIN said:

How fast will they be able to charge their cars with no electricity at all? Never thought of it this way but I can dump gas in my vehicles from a can and just keep on keepin', can't do that with a 65k Tesla though....LMAO, tell em to tolerate that!!

That's only an issue if you live in a 3rd world s***hole.  E.g. California. 

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3 hours ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

That's only an issue if you live in a 3rd world s***hole.  E.g. California. 

I laughed pretty hard at this!

I think if charge times were 10 to 15 minutes AND you got roughly 300 miles range out of that 15 min, most people would be ok with that. I have an I-Pace. It's great around town as I can charge it at home every night, but road trips are painful when I stop every couple hours to charge for 45 minutes. 

As chargers go, what has to happen is the wide adoption of high voltage batteries. The new Taycann is capable of faster charge times because it uses higher voltages. You'll remember the Voltage x Amperage = wattage. So if you pump up the voltage at the same amps, you can push more watts in a battery faster. The other thing to consider is the battery is made up of lots of individual cells. The number of those in parallel vs series effects how they discharge as well as charge. Ultimately, if set up correctly, you can charge the overall battery faster without increasing the charge rate on an individual cell. So, you effectively are charging each cell at the same rate but you're charging more cells at once. This will help mitigate some of the heat issues mentioned previously. On the downside, higher voltages increase the risk of arcing or other catastrophic failures. More insulation has to be used and a lot of attention had to be paid to induced EMF and such. So, it's a bit of a balance.

All that being said, I cant forsee myself NOT owning at least one gasoline or diesel powered vehicle. At least not in the next couple decades. 

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(edited)

On 10/29/2019 at 11:06 AM, PE Scott said:

I laughed pretty hard at this!

I think if charge times were 10 to 15 minutes AND you got roughly 300 miles range out of that 15 min, most people would be ok with that. I have an I-Pace. It's great around town as I can charge it at home every night, but road trips are painful when I stop every couple hours to charge for 45 minutes. 

As chargers go, what has to happen is the wide adoption of high voltage batteries. The new Taycann is capable of faster charge times because it uses higher voltages. You'll remember the Voltage x Amperage = wattage. So if you pump up the voltage at the same amps, you can push more watts in a battery faster. The other thing to consider is the battery is made up of lots of individual cells. The number of those in parallel vs series effects how they discharge as well as charge. Ultimately, if set up correctly, you can charge the overall battery faster without increasing the charge rate on an individual cell. So, you effectively are charging each cell at the same rate but you're charging more cells at once. This will help mitigate some of the heat issues mentioned previously. On the downside, higher voltages increase the risk of arcing or other catastrophic failures. More insulation has to be used and a lot of attention had to be paid to induced EMF and such. So, it's a bit of a balance.

All that being said, I cant forsee myself NOT owning at least one gasoline or diesel powered vehicle. At least not in the next couple decades. 

Granted, charge times are not yet sufficient.  On the other hand, most families have two vehicles, and they only need one for road trips.  Nearly half the vehicle market could go electric w/o improved charge times.  Also, 300 miles is >4 hours of driving.  That's roughly the time between meals, and a meal can easily take 30 minutes.  I prefer to take at least a 15 minute break every few hours just to stretch my legs and rest.  A little longer would be perfectly acceptable given how infrequently I take long road trips.  Assume half the people taking long road trips would be OK with 30 minute charge times, and 75% of the market could go full EV today.  In any case, charging times will decrease before viable markets are saturated.  I don't think charging time will be the limiting factor on EV sales. 

I think your knowledge is incomplete on battery voltages and wrong on battery configuration.  Higher voltage leads to less amperage through the power cables and power electronics.  So if you have an overheating problem with these components, in particular, then higher voltages can increase your charging times.  AFAIK, those components aren't a significant bottleneck. 

The real bottleneck is battery chemistry, which creates two serious limitations.  The first is charging amperage.  Battery cells are charged to a maximum voltage and discharged to a minimum voltage.  When fully discharged, they can accept charge rather quickly because there a high enough voltage differential to drive electrons.  As the cells approach maximum voltage, there's less delta-V to drive electrons, and amperage decreases.  The result is that the last 20% charge can take as long as the first 80% charge, more or less.  There's a good article on it here:
https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_lithium_ion_batteries

The second charge time limitation is cell overheating.  Like the last 20%, this is also a chemistry problem.  See Faraday Efficiency for more detail.  Some batteries have higher Faraday Efficiency than others.  Higher Faraday Efficiency --> Lower heat generation --> Lower maximum cell temperature --> potentially higher charging rates.  Like the last 20% problem, this heat transfer problem occurs no matter how the cells are wired together. 

That said, there are some ways to speed charging. 
1)  Li-ion chemistries are constantly being tweaked, which has resulted in incrementally higher Faraday Efficiency.  We can expect continued improvement. 
2)  Tesla's liquid-cooled batteries use a heat pump to maintain battery pack temperature.  Most batteries can fast-charge until the battery pack is saturated with heat, at which point charging is throttled to whatever rate the heat pump can handle.  A lower starting pack temperature means a longer time to heat saturation, so Tesla programmed the heat pumps to start cooling down the batteries before the car arrives at a fast charger.  That shaved minutes off their charge times.
3)  With a sufficiently large battery pack, you don't need the last 20% charge, which means you don't have to wait for it.  When EV ranges reach 375 miles (many Teslas currently do), the bottom 80% charge will achieve a 300 mile range.  That'll cut charging times in half. 

Tesla charging times are already down to 20ish minutes.  With the next generation of batteries and V3 superchargers, they'll be down to 10-15 minutes.  If they also choose to make vehicles with >400 mile ranges, charging to 300 miles could take <10 minutes.  I.e. your proposed "acceptable" performance is on the way - and long before charging times limit EV adoption. 

 

Edited by BenFranklin'sSpectacles
Edited some times.
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(edited)

9 hours ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

I think your knowledge is incomplete on battery voltages and wrong on battery configuration.  Higher voltage leads to less amperage through the power cables and power electronics.  So if you have an overheating problem with these components, in particular, then higher voltages can increase your charging times.  AFAIK, those components aren't a significant bottleneck. 

All other things remaining equal (ie. Battery chemistry, heat pumps, etc.) I stand by what I said. It is the key difference in the new Porsche Taycann.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.caranddriver.com/news/amp28903284/porsche-taycan-ev-800-volt-charging-performance/

 

Everything you said is correct too, btw. I just wasn't trying to be technical.

 

Edited by PE Scott
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You guys can have as many electric vehicles as you like. I enjoy riding, driving and rebuilding then selling those nasty internal combustion powered vehicles from days gone by. If Indian would get around to selling that FTR1200S in Malaysia, I’d get a new ICE motorcycle.

By the time they get the battery technology sorted out, charge times and infrastructure at a reasonable level, or conversely climate change causes serious issues....I’ll be dead! 

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1 hour ago, Douglas Buckland said:

You guys can have as many electric vehicles as you like. I enjoy riding, driving and rebuilding then selling those nasty internal combustion powered vehicles from days gone by. If Indian would get around to selling that FTR1200S in Malaysia, I’d get a new ICE motorcycle.

By the time they get the battery technology sorted out, charge times and infrastructure at a reasonable level, or conversely climate change causes serious issues....I’ll be dead! 

Don't get me wrong, Doug. I love my Ford Raptor too! As soon as I'm able, I'll get a new C8 corvette. I have a KTM 300 XC 2 stroke and a 2003 Honda crf250r frame with a 1986 500cc 2-stroke in it......its crazy fast. There's no replacement for displacement after all. I love riding dirty 2 strokes and I don't think theres anything like the thrill of the top end on a 500. My wife forbid me from riding street bikes now, but there was a time I rode/raced Kawasaki ZX6rr's and ZX10r's of various years. 

All that being said, Albuquerque can be a rough neighborhood. Charging at home, my wife never has to worry about stopping at a sketchy gas station. With an extra couple thousand pounds of battery and motor down low, she's unlikely to ever roll that beast. Weighing in over 5k lbs total, conservation of momentum is on her side with everything besides large trucks and such. As much as I hate to say it, electric cars are a lot of fun to drive too. The torque and acceleration are instantaneous at any speed. Also, my power grid is predominantly supplied by the 4 corners area, which is heavy on the fossil fuels. So, meh. I have no illusions of saving the enviroment. I just liked the features.

 

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2 hours ago, PE Scott said:

Don't get me wrong, Doug. I love my Ford Raptor too! As soon as I'm able, I'll get a new C8 corvette. I have a KTM 300 XC 2 stroke and a 2003 Honda crf250r frame with a 1986 500cc 2-stroke in it......its crazy fast. There's no replacement for displacement after all. I love riding dirty 2 strokes and I don't think theres anything like the thrill of the top end on a 500. My wife forbid me from riding street bikes now, but there was a time I rode/raced Kawasaki ZX6rr's and ZX10r's of various years. 

All that being said, Albuquerque can be a rough neighborhood. Charging at home, my wife never has to worry about stopping at a sketchy gas station. With an extra couple thousand pounds of battery and motor down low, she's unlikely to ever roll that beast. Weighing in over 5k lbs total, conservation of momentum is on her side with everything besides large trucks and such. As much as I hate to say it, electric cars are a lot of fun to drive too. The torque and acceleration are instantaneous at any speed. Also, my power grid is predominantly supplied by the 4 corners area, which is heavy on the fossil fuels. So, meh. I have no illusions of saving the enviroment. I just liked the features.

 

You mentioned the beast weighs over 5,000lbs....and not one word about how good the brakes are!😂

Yeah, you’re right, brakes only slow you down...😂

I ride an ‘unusual’ 305kg Harley...I pay attention to the brake thing! Mine came stock with Brembo’s....figure that one out.🤔

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6 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

You mentioned the beast weighs over 5,000lbs....and not one word about how good the brakes are!😂

Yeah, you’re right, brakes only slow you down...😂

I ride an ‘unusual’ 305kg Harley...I pay attention to the brake thing! Mine came stock with Brembo’s....figure that one out.🤔

Lol, good point. Who wants to slow down anyway?

In all seriousness though, in most normal driving you never use the physical brakes, the motors are enough to slow you to a stop while putting a little more charge in the battery. When you need them, the brakes are pretty solid. Better than a similar weighted suburban I drove as a teenager....but i suppose that's not a fair comparison. 

On a motorcycle, I don't think I would like the electric motor offering braking resistance. I'm not sure, but I think it would be really odd to control. 

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None of you discussed the ELEPHANT in the room.  How many times you can fast charge before you KILL the battery.  This is determined by the current(C rating) being dumped into the batteries and the Depth of Discharge.  Why most charger/inverters limit power in/out for longevity.  Has not much to do with infrastructure.  This is improving yearly, so... 

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IT should be noted that by TESLAS's own feedback "spy" in everyone's car, that those who SUPERCHARGED their cars all the time instead of slower charge rates retain higher longevity on their batteries.  They did not know why.  Penn State University found out why, but has not been corroborated.  Just came out in October of this year 2019.  Temperatures around 60C are actually optimal for charging temperatures if and ONLY if you BOOST the C rating upwards of 6C as it gets all of the charge in FAST and then you immediately cool the battery back down.  Why?  The lithium does not plate out as fast and total time of charge(when plating happens) is less.  Penn State achieved ~2000 cycles charging at 6C!  retaining 91% capacity later say 86%!  Needless to say, they won the battery competition!

So, soon we should expect to see heaters in all these batteries along with coolers.  Which means 200 miles of charge requires ~8 min currently and probably will achieve 5 minutes.  Damned close to gasoline fill ups.  Can someone say there will be a VAST need for super capacitors soon for this monstrous current?  Can only go yea high in voltage...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u57pBJG2C7E&

https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(19)30481-7#back-bib29

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And cost will increase with the addition of coolers and heaters, plus additional systems which COULD fail.

Also, on most ICE engines a fill up will get you more than 200 miles - just to compare apples to apples.

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(edited)

20 minutes ago, Douglas Buckland said:

And cost will increase with the addition of coolers and heaters, plus additional systems which COULD fail.

Also, on most ICE engines a fill up will get you more than 200 miles - just to compare apples to apples.

Of course IC engines waste loads of heat energy and already have massive cooling systems that fail frequently and need regular maintenance - just to compare apples to apples.

Also lead acid batteries last ~7 years if you are good to them, maybe 5 if you live in the damn cold.

In the damn cold we also need block heaters, well not me personally (heated parking), but IC engines waste electricity almost all night long in very cold areas.

Nobody complains about that stuff but will complain that a EV needs tires...

Edited by Enthalpic
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We are not trying to introduce or sell ICE technology. EV’s are trying to snare market share and it is up to these companies to exhibit how much better their technology is and how it will benefit the buyer. By adding on coolers/heaters, which are, as you say, present on ICE engines, you are essentially mimicking the technology which you are trying to replace.

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3 minutes ago, Douglas Buckland said:

We are not trying to introduce or sell ICE technology. EV’s are trying to snare market share and it is up to these companies to exhibit how much better their technology is and how it will benefit the buyer. By adding on coolers/heaters, which are, as you say, present on ICE engines, you are essentially mimicking the technology which you are trying to replace.

They are both cars and therefore will share most components and problems.

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15 minutes ago, Enthalpic said:

They are both cars and therefore will share most components and problems.

Okay, let’s say that is true.

Now ICE vehicles have been around for roughly 100 years, the technology is tried and true, and the support infrastructure is in place everywhere.

What are the salient features of EV’s that will entice me to dump my ICE vehicle for an EV? Let’s ignore any ‘green’ benefit for the moment and base this on cost, performance, convenience and infrastructure.

I am not wanting to get into an adversarial debate, I am simply asking what your sales pitch would be to Mr. John Doe from Topeka as you try to get him to switch to an EV?

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Just now, Douglas Buckland said:

Okay, let’s say that is true.

Now ICE vehicles have been around for roughly 100 years, the technology is tried and true, and the support infrastructure is in place everywhere.

What are the salient features of EV’s that will entice me to dump my ICE vehicle for an EV? Let’s ignore any ‘green’ benefit for the moment and base this on cost, performance, convenience and infrastructure.

I am not wanting to get into an adversarial debate, I am simply asking what your sales pitch would be to Mr. John Doe from Topeka as you try to get him to switch to an EV?

Fair enough. 

In theory greatly reduced maintenance costs as there are fewer moving parts (oil, coolant changes, transmission fluid).

Performance - loads of torque.  Insanely responsive, no turbo spin up delay or anything like that.

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1 hour ago, Enthalpic said:

Fair enough. 

In theory greatly reduced maintenance costs as there are fewer moving parts (oil, coolant changes, transmission fluid).

Performance - loads of torque.  Insanely responsive, no turbo spin up delay or anything like that.

Okay, now let’s assume that John, from Topeka, is not a gearhead, is not interested in torque and has no idea what turbo lag is, and is simple comparing vehicles to get from point A to point B.

Without looking into it myself, let’s say that maintenance costs ARE greatly reduced, but there is some maintenance required. Where is the closest shop to Topeka to have this performed? How many shops are in the Topeka area authorized to do the work?

Finally, what is the infrastructure set up in Kansas?

Again, just playing the Devil’s Advocate.

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