Tesla has brought the latest generation of its Supercharger to the UK, opening up the charging network to electric cars of all brands and finally introducing contactless payment.
Called the V4, Tesla’s newest rapid charger features a three-metre-long cable that can supply power at rates of up to 250kW for EVs with a CCS connection – activated either by contactless card payment or via the Tesla smartphone app. Prices are set at 50p per kWh.
While other charging firms have already introduced faster chargers, for instance, Gridserve’s 350kW High Power unit, a spokesperson for Tesla told Autocar the V4 was “future-proof” thanks to over-the-air updates, and that faster rates could be possible in the future.
The V4 features a more discreet design than Tesla’s previous-generation V3 charger. The design with a large aperture, which has been a Tesla staple for three generations of chargers, has been replaced by a solid box.
It now features a digital screen that facilitates card payment and displays a digital receipt that can be downloaded through a scannable QR code.
The fastest-charging EVs currently on sale in the UK max out at 350kW, but the advent of 800V charging hardware is anticipated to allow for much quicker top-up times in the near future.
The first V4 devices are at Tesla’s dealership in Tottenham, north London, but will eventually be rolled out to Tesla charging sites across the UK.
The American brand operates one of the most prolific charging networks of any provider in the UK, having 1100 chargers fitted at 115 locations, with an average of 10 at each.
Autocar tested one of the new V4 chargers and recorded a charging speed of 76kW on a BMW iX1, which claims a maximum charging speed of 130kW.