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Tesla to cap charging at busy Supercharging stations at 80%

Tesla Supercharger

Tesla will be updating some of its supercharger stations to impose limits on how much a car can be charged in a single period. The new limits will allow Tesla users to only charge up to 80% at busy supercharger stations, in order to reduce queues and wait times.

Tesla announced the new limits in an email sent to employees and obtained by Electrek. The email read, “Today, we released a new Supercharger feature that will limit owners’ State of Charge (SOC) to 80% at select high-traffic sites.”

The limits will be in place 24 hours a day at the selected sites. Some of the sites will have this limit imposed on a permanent basis, while others will have the limits in place only at peak times such as during national holidays or around large regional events like festivals. This is to address issues with supercharger stations becoming extremely busy during certain holidays such as Thanksgiving.

A fair number of stations will be affected, with 17% of stations set to have the new limits. In total, 8% of stations will have the permanent limits and a further 9% will have the temporary limits.

When you go to charge your Tesla at a station with the limits in place, you will get an alert informing you that you have reached 80% charging capacity. Tesla is hoping that this will not be too disruptive, as many users don’t fully charge their cars at stations. The last fifth of the capacity takes longer to finish charging than at lesser capacity levels and many users don’t want to wait that long anyway.

According to the email, Tesla is hoping that the limitations will lead to a 34% improvement in wait times at affected stations. “When combined with the recently released On-Route Battery Warmup feature and V2 Supercharger upgrades (to 150 kW), we expect 80% SOC Limit enforcement to result in a 34% improvement in throughput at our busiest Supercharging locations — creating a better, more efficient [Supercharging] experience for our owners.”

However, if you’re really determined to get a full charge then Electrek has discovered a clever way to achieve this. There’s an exception to the charging limits in place for those who are traveling on long-distance trips. So if you select a route which passes a Supercharger station, instead of selecting the station itself as your end point, then you’ll be able to get more juice to carry you to your destination.

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