The Tesla Cybertruck's Charging Speeds Are Getting Slammed. Here's What We Know

The Cyberbeast edition of the all-new Tesla Cybertruck, equipped with an 800-volt battery system, is promised to offer up to 320 miles of EPA range while fast-charging at a maximum speed of 250 kilowatts. But over the holiday weekend, many early Cybertruck owners started posting on social media about the truck’s real-world charging capabilities, with some saying it could take longer than expected to charge because speeds drop off dramatically as more range gets added on the plug. 

But a recent test at a V3 Tesla Supercharging station, performed and documented by the Our Cyber Life YouTube channel, reveals some interesting results of the real-world, fast charging capabilities.

Get Fully Charged

First of all, according to the manufacturer, the all-electric pickup should be able to recover up to 128 miles of range, about 40 percent points, within 15 minutes—136 miles in the case of the AWD version with 340 miles of range. That’s not bad, but also not the best charging rate on the market.

Our Cyber Life’s video presents a charging session from 14% up to 90% state-of-charge (SOC) at a typical V3 Supercharging stall, which is usually limited to roughly 250 kilowatts and 500 volts. The Cybertruck’s battery has been preconditioned for 20 minutes while driving to the Supercharger, so its temperature should be in the optimum range for the task.

The author of the test points out that the site “was rather crowded at the Supercharger, so it is possible I was not getting the full speeds possible.” Now, let’s look at the results with Our Cyber Life’s charts.

Results Within Specs

As we can see in the video, the Tesla Cybertruck Supercharging exceeded the peak charging power of 250 kilowatts, reaching about 255 kW at the beginning.

Then the charging power began slowing down (which is typical for Tesla EVs.) But then the power appears to be fading faster than is usually the case with Tesla’s cars, reaching about 150 kW at 40% SOC, about 100 kW at 60% SOC and about 80 kW at 80% SOC, ending at about 61 kW at 90% SOC.

The relatively short period at about 250 kW suggests that there is room for improvement here. An increase in the time of charging at 250 kW would significantly boost the charging speed and provide a more reasonable charging rate—the ratio between the power and battery capacity.

external_image

Overall, the charging session from 14% to 90% SOC took 49 minutes and 52 seconds and the computer estimated an additional 30 minutes to reach 100% SOC. In other words, the last 10 percentage points are extremely slow, which is often the case with most EVs.

Initially, the 14%-100% SOC was estimated to take 1 hour and 25 minutes. Tesla usually recommends drivers only do a partial fast charging session (add 30-50% SOC and go), and the Tesla Cybertruck is not an exception here.

It’s worth noting that during the first 15 minutes of the session, the battery SOC increased from 14% to 49%, which means 35 percentage points or about 112 miles out of 320 miles total. That’s not far from Tesla’s claim of 128 miles in 15 minutes, especially because the highest charging rate is probably from about 0% to 20% SOC.

external_image

During the session, the car received 93 kilowatt-hours of energy, which compared to the estimated 123-kWh Tesla Cybertruck battery (there is no official number), would be over 75% of the capacity. 

external_image

And here is another look at the charging power, this time versus time:

external_image

Tesla Cybertruck Vs. Other Pickups

But let’s take a look at the fast charging capabilities of other all-electric pickups.

The Ford F-150 Lightning Extended Range, according to specs, can accept about 150 kilowatts and recharge from 15 to 80% SOC in 41 minutes, adding up to 54 miles of range in 10 minutes. The Rivian R1T (the original Quad Motor version) was rated at up to 210 kW and is capable of replenishing up to 140 miles of range in 20 minutes. And the Lordstown Endurance (we know, it’s DOA), was promised to get 150 kW and recharge from 20 to 80% SOC in 45 minutes. Finally, the newest all-electric pickup, the Chevrolet Silverado EV, is expected to add about  100 miles of range in 10 minutes, so it should be the best of all models on the market in this metric.

Other than that, the Tesla Cybertruck, with its potential “128 miles in 15 minutes,” does not seem to be worse than the competition.

We also should be cautious with comparing it to electric cars, scaling expectations in line with battery capacity, because the application is a bit different. The time will tell whether the electric pickups will be able to match electric cars’ charging rates.

Early Conclusions

This initial, single test is not enough to draw some final conclusions about the Cybertruck’s fast-charging capabilities. But it does give us an important, first look at what we are talking about in the case of the V3 Superchargers.

Over the past few days, we’ve seen a lot of negative comments indicating that the Cybertruck’s Supercharging speed is weaker than expected. However, we must admit that while it’s not a beast compared to some of the other models, it appears to be within specs and has the potential to improve in the future.

First of all, in the past it was often reported that Tesla limited the initial performance of its products. That includes the Supercharger’s power, the car’s usable battery capacity or charging power, or even acceleration. The numbers later improved with over-the-air software updates, once Tesla decided that it was safe to do so or wanted the marketing advantage.

Another thing is that the charging test was kind of the worst-case scenario, as the 800-volt battery system is expected to get much better charging results at a high-voltage charger (especially at higher SOC.) That’s because the same power can be supplied at a lower current, which directly reduces losses.

The Tesla Cybertruck has four 200-volt battery units with a switching capability to series/parallel configurations, so theoretically it should be able to mitigate negative consequences of voltage mismatches between the charger and vehicle, but we still don’t know for sure how it affects the charging rate.

The V3 Supercharger in the test was limited to about 250 kilowatts, and—as noted before—”crowded”, which also could affect the results due to the power-sharing feature between stalls.

Finally, the Tesla Cybertruck is equipped with Tesla’s newer 4680-type cylindrical battery cells; specifically, the second-generation batteries with some 10% higher energy density, according to Tesla. The use of a new battery, focused on energy density rather than charging power, might also play a role at least initially. Tesla could unlock more potential with those batteries if they’re proven to have no issues. 

Finally, the Tesla Cybertruck fast charging results seem to correspond with the specs providing good performance, if not the best around right now. It might perform better later or at higher-voltage chargers. We’ll keep an eye out for future charging tests. 

Do you own a Cybertruck and want to share any charging data with us? Get in touch: [email protected].