There is some speculation in the burgeoning zero emission commercial vehicle world that Tesla is trying to establish a standard prototcol to charge electric trucks across the industry.
Tesla is also apparently working with some ‘mysterious third-parties’ to deploy a Megacharger network to charge its still yet to find the road Tesla Semi electric trucks.
With the unveiling of its Tesla Semi in 2017, the company unveiled its ambitious plan to deploy ‘Megachargers’, a more powerful version of its Supercharger network to specifically charge electric trucks.
Tesla wanted a new charging station that could add 600km of range in just 30 minutes and wanted to guarantee low electricity rates at the station.
At the time, its was estimated that Tesla was planning a charging station to deliver more than one MW of power.
Almost three years later, Tesla is still yet to deploy those Megachargers.
Tesla Semi electric truck prototypes have been traveling around the US, but they have been using Tesla’s Supercharger stations to charge with a device the connects a device that connects to multiple Supercharger stalls.
Most in the industry realised that this was obviously not sustainable, since any significant fleet of Tesla Semi trucks would cripple Tesla’s Supercharger network.
As a result Tesla really needs to deliver on the Megacharger network before it ramps up Tesla Semi production next year.
Jerome Guillen, Tesla’s president of automotive and the man in charge of the Tesla Semi program, addressed that during a conference call following Tesla’s earnings result late last week.
“We continue the development of the Semi. And in particular, Megachargers, we realised that the 350-kW or so that we are looking for cars is not going to be enough for the Semi,” said Guillen.
“So we’re looking for something much more powerful than that, that can achieve essentially charging the Semi during a break, between your driving time so that you can drive until the next break. So there is no usable or efficient time wasted for charging the Semi,” he added.
The longtime Tesla executive then added that they are working with other parties to provide that solution, but was vague about it.
“We’re working with other parties to make sure that there is a standard infrastructure that will be able to be deployed for all customers,” he added.
“That’s probably all I can say at this point, just we’re not working in isolation. We have to invent it because it doesn’t exist, but we’re trying to invent something that could be helpful for everybody”
The executive’s statement intimated that Tesla is working to deliver a new standard for charging bigger electric vehicles at high power.
It was reported last year, that Tesla submitted their own 1 MW or more high-power charging standard for electric trucks within CharIN, an industry association behind the CCS standard.
CharIN is working on High Power Charging for Commercial Vehicles (HPCCV) with its members in order to create a standard for interoperability of vehicle charging stations for electric trucks
Tesla was one of five companies that submitted designs, along with Electrify America, ABB, paXos, and Staubli.
CharIN has apparenly already chosen the design and it is currently being validated.
Some are speculating that Jerome’s new comment hints that Tesla’s design for a greater than 1 MW high-power charging standard has been selected and they are now testing with those mysterious third-parties.