Tesla will bet on solar energy to recharge cars

Unveiled in a leak this summer, the new generation of Tesla Superchargers (V4) is about to be deployed.

It is in Yuma County, west of Phoenix, Arizona, that Tesla’s first V4 Supercharger should be started. The new generation charging station from the Californian manufacturer promises not only to evolve from a design point of view, but also in terms of its functionality. Indeed, Tesla not only wishes to develop its network, but also to diversify its sources of energy supply.

The first major change is aesthetic. The new V4 terminals should be covered with a roof. But not just any roof, a solar roof. This is anything but a surprise, for two reasons. On the one hand, it was the will of Elon Musk who had publicly acknowledged his interest in solar energy in the case of Superchargers. On the other hand, Tesla is a major player in solar panels across the Atlantic and already masters the technology necessary not only to produce the equipment, but also to operate it. Because this is the other differentiating element of the V4 Superchargers, they would be connected to a Megapack. Behind this barbaric name hides more classic equipment: a huge lithium-ion battery capable of storing up to 3 MWh of electricity. Concretely, by equipping themselves with this equipment, the V4 Superchargers would be able to produce part of the energy they distribute, but also to store it during off-peak periods.

The Twitter account @MarcoRPTesla, specializing in the American charging network and quoted by Electrek, also reveals the sketch of what could be the future Tesla location in Yuma County. The sketch shows 40 charging stations for this station covered with a 4,500 m² solar roof.

Solar is cheaper

Why is Tesla relying on solar to power its V4 Superchargers? Simply to reduce costs. Indeed, the 35,000 Superchargers installed worldwide depend on various local or national networks. In other words, Tesla pays for its electricity. Given the explosion in energy prices, seeing Tesla accelerate on its V4 Supercharger project is therefore anything but a surprise.

The use of solar energy is not the only novelty of this new generation of charging station. Indeed, future Superchargers could also be more powerful. Currently, the peak power delivered peaks at 150 kW or 250 kW depending on the terminal generation. The manufacturer’s 4th generation terminal could push this limit to 300 kW. But since all current and future Tesla vehicles are based on a 400V architecture, it is not certain that Tesla wants to invest more in this aspect of its Superchargers. However, as more and more Superchargers are compatible with electric cars from competing brands, Tesla would have an additional reason to evolve its network.

When will the V4 Superchargers be in France?

Finally, aside from the structural changes, there are also some basic, but important changes planned for the V4 Superchargers. Starting with… the length of the charging cables. If this development may seem incidental to you, it is because you have never tried to connect to a Supercharger with an electric car other than Tesla…

What about Europe and more particularly France? If it is not surprising to see Tesla deploying its V4 Supercharger in very sunny Arizona, it is also worth wondering when this new generation of terminals will cross the Atlantic. It is obviously too early to answer this question, and it seems obvious that this new type of Superchargers, more dependent on the climate, will not be installed without prior study. In the meantime, Tesla’s “French” network remains one of the most serious on the market with more than 1,500 terminals (V2 and V3) spread over France.

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