Liquid-Cooled Cable Could Speed Up Tesla Supercharging Even More (Video Added!)


When it comes to fast-charging options for electric-car drivers, Tesla's Supercharger stations are already among the quickest.

The company's network of stations is steadily increasing throughout North America and worldwide, allowing Model S drivers to take long-distance trips on a growing variety of routes.

But there's still room for improvement.

DON'T MISS: Life With Tesla Model S: Local Supercharger Joys & Frustrations

At the recent Tesla Motors shareholder meeting, CEO Elon Musk mentioned that the company "just introduced" a liquid-cooled Supercharger cable.

The liquid-cooled cable could potentially speed up charge times at Tesla Supercharger stations, according to Charged EVs.

This supposition is reinforced by the comments made by Musk at the shareholder meeting.

Tesla Supercharger site in Newburgh, New York, up and running - June 2015

Tesla Supercharger site in Newburgh, New York, up and running - June 2015

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He said a liquid-cooled charge cable "has the potential for increased power of the Supercharger long term."

A cable with its own cooling system could potentially carry more current without overheating--eliminating a potential bottleneck in the flow of electricity from power source to battery pack.

ALSO SEE:  Tesla Supercharger Network Growth Surges Over Last 14 Months (Mar 2015)

But even if that proves not to be the case, Tesla drivers will benefit from a thinner, lighter cable that should be less cumbersome to handle, while carrying the same current as the conventional cable in use at Supercharger sites today.

The first liquid-cooled cable was installed at the Supercharger station in Mountain View, California--between Tesla's Palo Alto headquarters and its Fremont assembly plant.

Tesla Supercharger site with photovoltaic solar panels, Rocklin, California, Feb 2015

Tesla Supercharger site with photovoltaic solar panels, Rocklin, California, Feb 2015

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While Tesla continues to boost the number of Supercharger stations nationwide, it's unclear how quickly this new cable design will proliferate.

Until battery technology takes a massive leap forward, though, any incremental increase in DC fast-charging speeds could have a noticeable impact on the electric-car ownership experience.

MORE: UPDATE: Tesla's First Solar-Powered Supercharger-Store-Service Center Now Open

Some analysts suggest that electric cars will always be at a disadvantage if they can't duplicate the five-minute fill-up for perhaps 300 miles of range that's possible in a gasoline car.

Many electric-car drivers dispute that, suggesting that a 20- to 30-minute stop every two hours is eminently manageable, since unlike gasoline, drivers can walk away from their cars while they recharge.

Combining rest stops, buying water or coffee, and 5 to 10 minutes of checking a mobile device, the recharge is largely complete before you know it, they say.

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