The Tesla Model S Plaid Is the Quickest-Charging EV We’ve Tested
From the January 2022 issue of Car and Driver.
There are layers upon layers of the ways that the Tesla Model S Plaid moves the bar for EVs. Something that can be lost in the ostentatious claims regarding acceleration and 200-mph top speed is how much faster the Plaid can recharge at one of the company’s DC fast chargers.
Just two years ago, the Model S couldn’t accept the peak 250 kilowatts from the company’s fastest Superchargers. Now, with a reworked battery pack that uses the same Panasonic 18650 cells, our test from a 10 to 90 percent state of charge shows that the Plaid hangs out at the peak for almost five minutes, then continues to replenish itself at a higher rate than before for the rest of the charge. Its total time was 38 minutes—some nine minutes, or 19 percent, quicker than the 2021 Model S Long Range Plus we tested—with the highest average charging rate (125 kilowatts) we’ve seen yet. That betters the average charging rate that we’ve measured on the Audi e-tron (121 kW) and Porsche Taycan (118 kW) and obliterates that of some other EVs, such as the VW ID.4 (82 kW) or Ford Mustang Mach-E (47 kW).
Based on the Plaid’s equally impressive 280-mile result in our 75-mph range test means that charging in this manner the Model S would be good for 224 miles of highway cruising at 75 mph between stops.
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