The newest Tesla to head to Australia is the Model 3 and its due in August. Ahead of that first shipment from the US, the Supercharger network is being upgraded as Model 3s have a new charging trick, not available on the Model S or X.
The newer CCS Combo 2 (CCS2 for short) is a charging connector that is liquid cooled as it contains DC power. This fierce combination of electrons enables the Model 3 to charge at a faster rate than any Tesla before.
Leading up to the August release of the Model 3, Tesla contractors are quietly going around the country to the dozens of supercharger locations and upgrade at least 2, but sometimes all Superchargers to support both the old and the new standard.
While having two cables in the one Supercharger isn’t as clean and elegant as the first charging solution, Tesla was almost forced to respond to the rapidly evolving charging industry as it moves to ultra-fast charging.
The Chargefox network that’s adding new locations almost weekly, supports up to 350kW, while Tesla’s previously only supported 150kW. The charger is one piece of the puzzle, but the rate of charging the battery and vehicle is willing to accept varies dramatically between cars.
In March this year, Tesla announced Supercharging V3, a completely new architecture for Supercharging. A new 1MW power cabinet with a similar design to their utility-scale products supports peak rates of up to 250kW per car.
This means the Model 3 Performance at peak efficiency can get as much as 125km of charge in just 5 minutes. The net effect is that V3 Supercharging will dramatically cut the time you need to spend charging by an average of 50%, if you find your way to an upgraded Supercharger.
As Aussie Tesla enthusiasts from across the country report the upgrades, so far we know the following locations have been upgraded:
Fortitude Valley, Brisbane – Tesla showroom
Richmond, Melbourne – Tesla Store
St. Leonards, Sydney – Tesla Service Center
Majura Park, Canberra Airport
Living in Wodonga has it’s benefits, like the ability to go see a couple of the upgraded Superchargers. Of the 6 chargers, 2 are currently updated to the new dual-cable setup. There’s a small icon on the charger holder that indicates the new CCS Combo 2 connector is located at the top.
Having played with the new connector (for the photos above), I would say the cables are a little harder to maneuver but it won’t be a big deal for most. Visually the dual-cable setup actually works quite well in the plastic shroud of the Superchargers, almost like Tesla planned for a possible retrofit from the start.
While the official Tesla Supercharger map doesn’t yet reflect the new chargers (it will once they’re online), the community has come to the rescue. If you have a Model 3 on order and want to keen an eye on the progress of CCS2 upgrades, you can watch this spreadsheet.
According to the spreadsheet, there are 42 Supercharger locations in Australia, 186 total stalls and 20 (or 14.29%) have been upgraded.