GLOBAL. Tesla Cybertruck: not-so-fast fast charging

Maximum charging speed is one of the important features on electric vehicles. Even more than autonomy. The Cybertruck is the brand’s first model to use Tesla’s 4680 cells. But despite the manufacturer’s promises, the performance of the 100% electric pick-up is disappointing.

The importance of charging performance

The higher the charging power of an electric car, the quicker it is possible to get back on the road. This is truly a prime criterion for rechargeable models. Perhaps even the main subject on which all car manufacturers are currently working. A few years ago, electric vehicles were satisfied with a charging power of around 50 kW. Today, new models are generally capable of handling 150 kW. Some can even go up to 350 kW.

It all depends on the charger you plug your vehicle into. If we take the case of Tesla, the manufacturer’s V3 superchargers can provide up to 250 kW of power. It’s already very strong. The new V4s even promise a power of 350 kW. The other criterion to take into account when choosing an electric model is its charging curve. This is a graphical representation of the charging process of a car, it is different for each model and illustrates how charging evolves depending on the battery charge level.

Video shows Cybertruck charging performance

Concretely, electric cars cannot maintain very high charging rates indefinitely. The charging curve therefore makes it possible to analyze how a vehicle copes with recharging. On YouTube, a couple who just received their Cybertruck published a video which shows for the first time the behavior of Tesla’s electric pick-up when recharging. One of the two protagonists is probably a Tesla employee, which could explain this very rapid delivery of the vehicle.

Regardless, the video perfectly illustrates the Cybertruck’s load curve. And it’s not necessarily good advertising for the pickup. The Tesla Cybertruck is connected to a V3 supercharger, therefore capable of delivering a power of 250 kW as we have seen. We see that the vehicle has a relatively low charging curve, at least during this charging session in a fairly busy station. The pickup starts charging at 14%. After 20 minutes of preconditioning, the Cybertruck ramps up to a maximum charging rate of 255 kW.

A disappointing load curve for the Cybertruck?

But it doesn’t last long. When the battery passes the 20% state of charge mark, the power decreases. At 40%, the car only absorbs 150 kW, then 100 kW at 60%, and reaches a plateau around 80 kW at 66% until the battery is 90% charged. It therefore took the Cybertruck 50 minutes to go from 14 to 90%. Enough to take 94 kWh of energy from a battery which makes 123 kWh. It’s a charging curve that is correct, but quite far from the expectations we could have given the enormous battery with which the Cybertruck is equipped.

This is because people who are interested in electric cars know that a larger battery can generally sustain a higher charge rate for a longer time. The comparison with a Tesla Model 3 is not to the advantage of the Cybertruck. The Model 3 has a range of 535 km and can recover 355 km in 31 minutes (the time needed to go from 14 to 80%). According to the same calculation, the Cybertruck cannot resume “ what » 330 km in 40 minutes. Results which are also much slower than those of the recharge champions.

Tesla should improve the capabilities of its pickup

When we compare the Cybertruck’s performance to that of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or the Kia EV6, the gap is significant. These two models can absorb up to 180 kW at up to 70-80%. Please note, however, that this is only one test. The Cybertruck’s charging performance will need to be analyzed over time and under other circumstances. It’s possible that the electric pickup could charge better from an 800V charger, which is not the case with Tesla’s V3 Superchargers. The V4 Supercharger is claimed to be capable of 800V charging.