Tesla Semi Megacharger-Setup Shows Semi Can Charge at Supercharger

For the first time, people have spotted Tesla Semi’s ad hoc ‘Megacharger’ setup being used at a Supercharger and charing a Tesla Semi.

Edmonton, AB-based Tesla Model 3 owner @TeslaYeg, an avid enthusiast of the electric car maker’s vehicles, recently posted a photograph of the Tesla Semi as it was charging at a Supercharger station. The Model 3 owner did not specify the location where the image was taken, though it would appear that the Semi was in Canada when it was photographed. This is not too farfetched, as the vehicle has been spotted road testing in Canada not too long ago.

Megacharger ramp is unknown for now, though sightings of the vehicle across the United States indicate that Tesla has been using multiple regular Supercharger stalls as an ad hoc solution for the Semi’s charging needs. Ad hoc means when necessary or needed.

In the past, Tesla has been very secretive about how this ad hoc Megacharger setup solution for Tesla Semi works or even looks like.

Some Tesla owners who were fortunate enough to chance upon the Semi at a Supercharger in the past even mentioned that staff and engineers accompanying the Class 8 truck have specifically asked them not to take any pictures of the vehicle’s charger. This does not seem to be the case anymore, as per @TeslaYeg’s recent post on Twitter.

The next few months will likely be exciting for the Tesla Semi, considering that Elon Musk has announced that the vehicle should enter volume production soon.

But Elon Musk’s announcement about accelerating Tesla Semi production can mean a lot of things and what if we may have misunderstood what Elon said about it now being time for the Semi. What if he meant that they’re going to focus on building the assembly line for the Semi now. That’s going to take a year – it won’t actually enter production in the US until the middle of next year.

I assume it will also enter production in Giga Shanghai a few months after that. I am sure Semi trucking is huge in China. I wonder if Giga Berlin’s second vehicle after the Model Y will be the Semi or the Model 3. Semi trucking is huge in Europe too. They might be able to generate a lot more money off of the Semi than the Model 3, which will have already satisfied the demand for its performance variant in Europe from Fremont by the time 2022 rolls around.

But other people say it’s unlikely to take a year to build a line when Tesla has built entire factories in less time. “I’ve heard others more in the know also say that Semi manufacturing is simpler than most cars,” writes one commenter at Teslarati. I think it’s mainly about ramping cell production, and we’ll be seeing limited volumes of Semi come off the lines this year.
The general belief was that Tesla needs higher energy density batteries to make Semi work. They have patented, bought, hinted about various technologies to increase density. Is it possible that they can do that already at least for limited production?

What do you think about it?


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TeslaYeg Twitter

29 Replies to “Tesla Semi Megacharger-Setup Shows Semi Can Charge at Supercharger”

  1. Roger DeBats

    The charging time is not that important. As stated in other comments, drivers are required to take breaks anyways. Also the first iteneration of self driving allowed on the roads will probably be "platooning" or convoy. Driver in first truck , maybe three more trucks following without drivers. This efficiency of each driver delivering four truck loads will allow for a little extra downtime to charge if nessecary.

  2. Dean McManis

    I think that Tesla will ramp up limited production of the Semi this year. Now we know Tesla's plans to build their million mile battery in limited quantities starting hopefully 3-4 months from now. Since Tesla's stock shot up on the "announcement"/leak of Semi production, they will certainly shoot to get Semi production started this year, even if it is limited. Elon did state that the Semi could get 400 miles of charge in 30 minutes with the Megachargers. They could also have a charge adapter that plugs into two supercharger stations at once. The Model S used to have a dual charger option that doubled the charge rate, and maybe the Semis have a new version of this technology that adapts to the Megacharger, or to two Superchargers in a pinch.

  3. Duanne Luckow

    Waiting patiently for Pebble Beach Concours de Elegance standards in Tesla Semi-Airstream© polished living/vehicle SCCA hauler with standards using 1 million miles battery technologies incorporating DAL ©® Universe ™ solution for the Big 4 (four)© by Frank A Walter.

  4. Butch Bailey

    I am curious why You want to evaluate what the charging time will be for TESLA SEMI? You or I am never going to buy one.They have no competition and maybe MB will come out with their own solution.TESLA has no problem building charging infrastructure. TESLA WILL NOT BE BUILDING ANYMORE TENT STRUCTURES. That was a quick cost effective fix for MODEL 3 ONLY.

  5. Butch Bailey

    This is a stupid story. This was only needed to move Truck to customers North America. None of the Founder Series will require this setup because they will have charging setups at the locations they deliver Freight to or from. It will be probably 3 years from TESLA will probably team up with Truck Stops now that will provide the real estate for free when they transition from diesel filling to Battery charging. These will be mostly used by independents but the founder series will use them too.

  6. Tong YG

    I think we’ll start seeing more semi trucks in the wild. Tesla’s first costumer will be themselves delivering goods from Fremont factory, Gigafactory Nevada and future Texas TeraFactory.

  7. I Kaya

    With self drive software HGVs shape and speed can be massively optimised to improve energy efficiency

    If you get rid of the driver the cab becomes significantly cheaper and lighter
    A combination of lower speed (eg 50mph rather than 65mph) and improved aerodynamics can see robo HGVs go to less than 1KWh/Mile which means you can build a 1,000 mile HGV with a 1,000KWh pack

    Or build a cheaper 300KWh 300 mile robo HGV which costs 10 cents a mile for electricity and perhaps as little as 10 cents a mile for capital and maintenance cost (assuming 2 million mile life)

    Imagine a HGV which is just a skateboard no cab just the battery pack and wheels as a skateboard which sits under the container

  8. I Kaya

    Would make sense if these can just use the normal V3 superchargers at 250KW power. They can park at the supercharger in the middle of two bays and plug one cable to the right and another cable to the left of the vehicle and charge at 500KW power

    Charging from 5% to 95% would take under 2 hours which is enough for a good lunch break after a long session driving

    Of course the ultimate goal is self driving HGVs. With self driving vehicles they can be set to drive at a very efficient speed of 45MPH

    A HGV at 45MPH uses half the energy per mile. Human driven HGVs can't operate that slow as human wages are expensive and time = money. but software has a marginal cost of zero

    Battery HGVs at 45MPH would have massive range or can have much smaller batteries. 500 mile range human HGV would need a 1,000KWh battery pack. 500 mile self drive HGV operating at slower speeds would only need 500KWh battery. Massively reducing cost and weight and also massively reducing electricity cost

  9. zezizarjaars

    The battery can stil charge just as fast, the new limit will be the charger itself, which is currently limited at 250kW an hour, while the semi got up to a 1000kWh of batteries. So either, Tesla will create a new hypercharger or truckcharger or whatever, or it will indeed take at least 4 hours. Please note, the vehicle can will be able to handle a lot more, it's purely the charger that can't keep up.

    *Edit: Basically just like with a diesel truck, that also takes a long time to fill up, simply because the petrol station doesn't have a pump that pumps it full within a really short time.

  10. snygg

    Yes, in Germany the highways spillover of trucks … same with resting areas … sadly, our "Autobahn"-system is totally overstrained by the "economic success" 😢
    [Shipping parts allover Europe is dumb and not an "economic success" … its the opposite of the concept behind a Gigafactory, btw.]

  11. Hayden Mckinion

    I dont think charge time is a worry. The semi will save lots of time because it can go faster up hills and stuff. And with autopilot, truck drivers will be able to drive for longer, and drivers are required to take a break anyway.

  12. Jeff Nisewanger

    This photo of a Tesla Semi connected via an adapter to a Supercharger was not taken by @TeslaYeg as he himself noted in a subsequent comment to his original tweet:

    “Not in Canada, no sure where it is as no details were provided. Check for others replies for the original source. Picture was found on some Tesla related Instagram account.”

    The photo was actually taken in January of 2019 by Joseph Mathew at the Kettleman City Supercharger in California alongside Interstate 5 and was posted on Facebook. I used it in an article I wrote over a year ago:


  13. Les Schorlemer

    I just thought of something… So a Model 3 has a 75kWh battery that runs the motors for 4 wheels. An 18 wheeler has, 18 wheels. With the Tesla Semi, what if they had 4 Model 3 battery packs each running some number of wheels for that 18 wheeler, and they set up Tesla Semi SuperCharger stations that will have 4 Supercharger cables plugged in, one to each Model 3 battery pack. This way you greatly reduce the time it takes to charge up the Semi in total…

  14. lc

    that truck was using a car charging station. he will need thousands of super stations for trucks. he should save his money though. his truck can only go 300 miles. so if a driver wants to go 600 miles he would need to fuel for about 1 hour total twice a day. super charching batteries is very bad for them. doing as many as 600 times a year is will kill the batteries in 2 or 3 years. he made a mistake and should have built a hydrogen truck also to do long haul as well as electic truck for shorter distances. those trucks can get home at night and plug in normally for 10 hours and not kill the battery.

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