Tesla Model Y Supercharging test with 4680 cells reveals slower than expected charging curve

Yesterday we told you about the first customer delivery of a Model Y with 4680 battery cells made at Giga Texas. While the electric SUV showed excellent build quality, the big question that remained was how the new battery pack performed when plugged in to a Supercharger.

We now have the answer as the owner of that Model Y took it on a 200 mile (321km) range test from Fort Worth to Abbott, Texas and back.

James, the host of Spoken Reviews, arrived at the 250kW Abbott Supercharger with 9% state of charge. Immediately after plugging in the car peaked at around 206kW, a level you would expect to see increase for a battery with such a low state of charge.

However that didn’t happen, and the charge rate dropped to below 200kW within seconds, never recovering above that level again during the entire charging session.

The charging speed dropped to around 80kW at 50% and appeared to maintain that speed until reaching 80%.

From there the rate dropped even further to 40kW at 90%, and 15kW at 97%, something not totally unexpected considering charging speeds drop considerably above 80%.

According to the video, here is how long it took to reach various states of charge from the original 9%:

  • 20% – 3 minutes
  • 39% – 6 minutes
  • 50% – 12 minutes
  • 80% – 34 minutes
  • 90% – 40 minutes
  • 97% – 50 minutes

What this data appears to show is that Tesla is being conservative with these new cells and throttling the charging speeds. Once they have some more real-world data from owners they will likely send out an over-the-air (OTA) software update to unlock higher charging speeds and the full potential of the 4680 battery cells.

This is not uncommon and something they did when they released the lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack in the Model 3.

You can check out the full video below.

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