How fast will the European Model 3 charge?

For the first time, the European Tesla cars now on their way to customers are using the CCS fast DC charging standard and can recharge at rates potentially higher than at today’s existing Supercharger stations. How much faster could they charge?

In a regulatory filing with the US EPA, Tesla has previously stated that the Model 3 is capable of being charged at higher rates than the 370A or so that the existing Supercharger 2.0 equipment is capable of delivering.

“The vehicle [Model 3] is … capable of accepting DC current up to 525A from an off-board charger…”, according to a statement on page 9 of Tesla’s certification request letter to EPA back in 2017.

At least one vehicle engineering “teardown” of a US Model 3 reportedly found that the cabling leading to the car’s charging inlet is indeed thicker and capable of carrying more current than the Model S or X.

Some of the new Ionity 350 kW chargers already installed in Europe are said to support charging at 350A for cars like the future Porsche Taycan that charge at near 800V and there is reason to believe that same chargers may actually be able to charge at near 500A for cars that charge at under 500V like the Model 3.

Therefore, it seems likely that within a few days or weeks someone will try to charge a Model 3 at such as a location and we will find out how fast it can actually charge.

At 500A, it could be able to charge at a peak rate as high as 180 kW. However, the battery cells being used today may limit the rate to something less than 500A but higher than what can be achieved at a Tesla Supercharger. A peak of 160 kW may be more likely.

For more technical depth, see also: Tesla flips to CCS in Europe, what does it mean?


Categories: Charging


5 replies

  1. So, just guestimating, it seems possible that the Model 3 could charge something like 20-80%, or ~40 kwh, in well under 30 minutes, which, with its efficiency, would mean ~ 2 hours of highway driving. That seems pretty good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While my Model 3 has demonstrated a charge rate of 117kw at 15% state of charge, people should remember that tapering off from that peak charge rate begins around 50 to 55% state of charge. So even if the Model 3 can do greater than 120kw charge rates between 15% and 55% state of charge, the tapering algorithm may significantly slow charge rates above 55%. Therefore, I wouldn’t expect European Model 3s overall 15% to 80% charge times to be much faster than their USA counterparts.

    A quick calculation demonstrates what I am talking about. Since tapering begins at 55% state of charge, use that as the full rate upper limit. 55% – 15% = 40%. Assume a 75 kw-hr battery, so 40% is 30 kw-hr of capacity. At a constant 120kw rate, charging takes 30 kw-hr / 120 kw = 0.25 hr or 15 minutes. So increasing this portion of the charge profile to 180 kw means it would now take 30 kw-hr / 180 kw = 0.167 hr or 10 minutes.

    That’s a total time saving of only 5 minutes for a 50% higher peak charge rate. I wouldn’t trade any potential harm in battery longevity for that small of a decrease in charging time, would you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is a good point, although if charging for only 10-15 minutes during the peak charge rate that could imply people standing around twiddling their thumbs. For such people, the difference of 10 vs 15 minutes is real.

      If you set the top charge cutoff to 90% or 100% and then walk over to the Starbucks 2 blocks away for 30-40 minutes or a quick fast-food lunch break then it doesn’t really make any difference.


    • 160 kW charging (500A) will only hit the battery for a fairly brief period of time – probably shorter than 10 minutes and only at low SOC.

      It should make a noticeable difference for those 10 minutes however.

      10% to 45% in 10 minutes (160 kW) = 11 miles per minute, 110 rated miles
      10% to 35% in 10 minutes (117 kW) = 8 miles per minute, 78 rated miles

      This is relatively speaking not much faster than Model 3 MR on Supercharger V2, which can charge 20-50% in 10 minutes (also 8 miles per minute).

      Reducing a longer charge from 40 to 35 minutes is not very useful, but reducing a short charge from say 15 to 10 minutes is quite useful.

      Liked by 2 people

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