February 23rd, 2019 by Kyle Field
Bjorn Nyland loves running around in a variety of electric vehicles to explore what is possible and, well, what is not possible. Just a few short days after the first Model 3s were delivered to customers in Norway, he encountered a Model 3 owner attempting to use a 175 kW hypercharger and found that no charge could be delivered.
He documented the process in typical Bjorn style, with a quick video that shows the hypercharge station where he and the owner gave the process several attempts. The blue LED on the Model 3 charging port seems to indicate that the car recognized that a charger was plugged in, but could not successfully initiate a charging session at any speed.
The charging protocol communication typically works like this: The car sees the charging station asking what speed/power the car is capable of charging at, and after the initial “handshake,” it proceeds to dole out the charge at the negotiated speed. From the video, it is not clear which party in the transaction didn’t want to make a deal, but the charge does not start.
The issue is likely just a minor software issue that can be resolved with a firmware update. The Tesla Model 3 and these new 175 kW hyperchargers are both new entrants to the market. The Tesla Model 3 brings the most advanced electric vehicle technology to the party and the 175 kW hypercharger is a rare bird, in any market. EV fast chargers typically offer around 50 kW of charging power, and non-Tesla ones offering 100kW to 150 kW have started popping up in the past year or so, but very few in the 175 kW range are anywhere in the world.
The fact that this chance encounter even happened is worth getting excited about. We are far beyond the days of a 70 mile EV hypermiling to get to the next 25 kW charging station. We can now explore how quickly a 300 mile charge can be delivered. These brand new stations should be able to accomplish the task in a matter of minutes.
The future is exciting, and thanks to the people on the front lines of deploying the solutions — buying the vehicles and putting them to the test in the real world — we can all join in on the fun as it unfolds.
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