First seen Cybertruck charging curve disappoints, however is that the entire story?

First seen Cybertruck charging curve disappoints, but is that the whole story?


The Tesla Cybertruck, Tesla’s first automobile to completely make the most of its bigger 4680-format cell, has been out for a few month now. However with solely restricted portions on the street within the public’s palms, there have nonetheless been loads of questions in regards to the automobile.

Now we’ve acquired a solution to one of the vital necessary questions: cost fee. It’s not nice – however that may not be the entire story.

Peak charging velocity, measured in kilowatts or kW, is without doubt one of the most necessary stats on an EV – arguably a lot extra necessary than vary. The upper the cost fee the faster you will get again on the street throughout a charging session. Older EVs have DC cost charges round 50kW, which is kind of gradual in comparison with at the moment’s requirements, the place EVs are normally able to 150kW+, with some fashions able to as much as 350kW. Tesla’s V3 superchargers can ship as much as 250kW of energy, which is loads quick, although the new V4s are even quicker at 350kW.

However one other necessary side of charging is cost curve, or how rapidly a automobile “tapers” off of the height cost fee to a decrease one. EVs can’t maintain peak cost charges ceaselessly, so will normally solely maintain on to the height fee for a sure time frame earlier than reducing to a slower fee. This is the reason EVs normally state their DC cost time “to 80%,” as a result of charging previous 80% at a excessive fee is usually unhealthy for battery sturdiness.

Till now, this was an open query for the Cybertruck, particularly since it’s Tesla’s first automobile to completely make the most of the 4680-format cells which have been famous to have considerably worse charging efficiency than the earlier 2170 format cells.

Video of Cybertruck’s charging curve

However in a video posted by Our Cyber Life, a brand new youtube channel shaped by a pair who took supply of their Cybertruck two weeks in the past, we now know what the Cybertruck’s cost curve appears like. The channel’s movies up to now have totally centered on the Cybertruck possession expertise, from a pair who’ve by no means owned a Tesla earlier than (however one in all them, nonetheless, appears to be a Tesla worker – which explains the early Cybertruck supply).

The video totally paperwork a Cybertruck cost on the Tesla supercharger in Mesa, Arizona, a V3 Supercharger able to 250kW peak energy supply. Many of the video is only a 5x velocity timelapse of the display throughout the charging session, although Our Cyber Life helpfully included graphs displaying cost fee for individuals who are “not interested by watching paint dry.”

As we will see within the video and accompanying graphs, the Cybertruck appears to have a comparatively poor cost curve, not less than for this charging session at a busy V3 Supercharger. The automobile begins at 14% state of cost, after about 20 minutes of preconditioning (an computerized course of to lift battery temperature to simply accept increased cost charges).

It instantly jumps to a peak cost fee of 255kW, however begins to taper fairly quickly, with cost fee steadily reducing beginning at 20% SOC. By 40% SOC the automobile is right down to 150kW, 100kW at 60% SOC, and reaches a plateau of 75-80kW at about 66% SOC, which it holds till round 90% – when the Youtuber’s digicam died and the Cybertruck headed out.

All in all, it was a 50 minute cost session from 14-90%, including 94kWh price of power into the Cybertruck’s 123kWh battery. Or, utilizing the usual 80% cutoff, 14-80% took 40 minutes.

Transient comparability with different autos

Tesla autos do are likely to taper quite early, however make up for it with excessive peak cost charges. It’s normally higher to do extra frequent, shorter cost classes to benefit from increased cost charges at low SOC, quite than to cost all the best way as much as 90 or 100%. Plus, busy Superchargers will penalize you for sticking round too lengthy whereas others are ready for a cost.

That is nonetheless a fairly fast cost fee, particularly when in comparison with the early days of EV charging or in comparison with AC cost instances which run within the hours, not minutes.

However given the Cybertruck’s enormous 123kWh battery, we anticipated faster charging than this. A bigger battery can normally maintain the next cost fee for longer (this idea is named “C-rate,” or cost fee divided by whole capability). A Mannequin 3 Lengthy Vary has a peak C-rate of three and common C-rate of 1.4 when charging from 0-100%, however on this check, the Cybertruck confirmed a peak C-rate of simply over 2 and common of about .9.

Measured in “miles of cost added per minute,” which is an much more necessary metric for sensible driving functions, the image will get considerably worse for the Cybertruck. The Mannequin 3 is rated at 333 miles of vary, and from 14-80% can add about 220 miles of vary in 31 minutes. By the identical metric, from 14-80%, the Cybertruck added 206 miles in 40 minutes – much less vary in an extended time frame.

All of those are considerably slower than the present charging champions, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and its cousin the Kia EV6, which regardless of a barely decrease peak cost fee of round 230kW, have an impressively broad charging curve that may maintain speeds of 170-180kW all the best way as much as 70-80%.

And in comparison with a similar-ish automobile, the Rivian R1T, the R1T tapers slightly bit later, however not by an amazing quantity. The R1T wins right here, however by a small margin (a margin which turns into bigger when taking into consideration Rivian’s increased effectivity and Tesla’s conventional, uh, “optimistic” vary estimates).

However that’s not the entire story

Nonetheless, we have to warning that this is just one check in a single set of circumstances – and the circumstances are lower than ideally suited for the Cybertruck in query.

First, the Cybertruck’s charging system is constructed with the flexibility to change between 800-volt and 400-volt charging. V3 Superchargers are 400V, so it’s potential that the Cybertruck will be capable to cost higher from an 800V charger – if Tesla will get round to putting in them. The V4 Supercharger is meant to be able to 800V charging, however up to now we’ve solely seen 400V installs, displaying how Tesla’s charging community isn’t prepared for Cybertruck – and that’s true in additional methods than one.

Second, it was a busy Supercharger, and on busy Superchargers typically Tesla limits charging velocity. A Supercharger station received’t essentially be constructed with the flexibility to provide most 250kW energy to each stall on the identical time, since you’re not often going to have each stall full with a automobile at 0% SOC calling for max cost fee. So a 10-stall, 250kW charger may need a complete 1-1.5MW capability, as an alternative of the two.5MW you’d anticipate from the nameplate 250kW cost fee. It’s potential the Cybertruck was given max cost fee at low SOC, after which the station itself tapered off energy supply with the intention to prioritize lower-SOC autos on the station.

Lastly, this can be a brand-new automobile and Tesla could also be ready for extra knowledge on battery well being whereas charging, with the intention to doubtlessly improve cost charges sooner or later. Tesla is keen on providing over-the-air updates to enhance automobile capabilities, and to permit early homeowners to behave as beta testers. On this case, the proprietor in query can be a Tesla worker, and Tesla is much more prepared to make use of workers as guinea pigs on new autos. So it’s completely potential that cost charges would possibly improve in a future software program replace – as occurred with Rivian as properly.

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