Tesla unveils details of Model S high power and flexible charging system
Tesla Motors' newest all electric car, the Tesla Model S, has a most interesting charging port that sets it apart from other electric cars. The proprietary design allows for 10 kilowatt, 20 kilowatt and even 90 kilowatt charge rates, through a slim and sleek charging connector, while most automakers struggle to support a 6.6 kilowatt charging rate. And then there's last weeks story about the integration of solar panels with the 90 kilowatt Supercharger stations which Elon Musk hinted last week would demonstrate "sustainable power generation, and sustainable power consumption". This week Tesla unveiled a new page on its web site demonstrating the various methods of charging the Model S.
The Tesla Model S, due to start delivery in about two weeks, with the Founder series cars delivered a couple weeks ago. It is an all electric car, designed from the ground up by Tesla Motors engineers. It supports a driving range of up to 300 miles (or more depending on driving habits), top speed well over 100 miles per hour, and 0-60 times of 5.6 seconds (or 4.4 seconds on the Performance model). The level of performance and revolutionary technology in the Model S comes largely because of the large, 85 kilowatt-hour, battery pack on-board the top end models. Such a large battery pack requires a high power charging system to have a reasonably fast recharge time.
Because of that Tesla's engineers felt it necessary to go with a proprietary charging port, rather than to adopt the standard (J1772) charging technology. What the company did, however, was to design the most flexible charging system imaginable, supporting adapters to the standard charging technology, as well as any power outlet you may find, and while supporting high charge rates through Tesla's proprietary charging stations.
By default the Model S comes with a single 10 kilowatt on-board charger. As an option the Model S can be equipped with two chargers for a 20 kilowatt charging rate. Before delivery Tesla recommends you either install the "High Power Wall Connector" charging station, or install a high power 240 volt outlet (pictured is a NEMA 14-50 socket, good for 240 volts at 50 amps). The company has an arrangement with Solar City to assist with setting up the charging station or power outlet.
There are two charging station options for the Model S owner, the "Mobile Connector" and the "High Power Wall Connector".