In the never-ending quest for technological advancement, Tesla has started rolling out the newest version of its Supercharger stations, which have a handful of obvious differences from the previous models. By far, the “coolest” new feature is the liquid-based cooling system, which keeps the Supercharger’s temperature close to ambient, up to and including the charging cable itself. The previous versions were air-cooled, but the chillier liquid model allows the Supercharger to be smaller, lighter, and possibly produce a faster charge.


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YouTube reporter KmanAutot (also known as Christopher Allessi II) checked out one of the new Superchargers and posted a video that shows how they work. Allessi uses thermal imagery to illustrate how much heat the new Supercharger generates, noting the liquid-cooled version is “surprisingly cool” compared to the previous generation of chargers, even after it’s been charging for a while. Superchargers are designed to bring a battery to 50 percent charge within 30-40 minutes.

Related: Tesla Model S drivers rack up one billion miles, saving 570,000 tons of CO2

Other changes in the latest Supercharger version are minor, but smart. The controller’s buttons have been updated, and the new Superchargers have air vents at the bottom as well. At last count (in May), Tesla has 437 Supercharger stations around the world with 2,395 Superchargers. There’s no news about which stations will get the new liquid-cooled Superchargers. We don’t know if they will be used only for new charging stations or if any of the existing stations will be retrofitted. Right now, the new Superchargers are reportedly only open for use at just one station, in Tesla’s hometown of Mountain View, California.

For what it’s worth, the next-next generation of Tesla Supercharges has also been unveiled, this time at Brickworld 2015 in Chicago. That’s right, it’s a full-size LEGO version of a Tesla Supercharger as well as the company’s logo. Watch this video to learn more about the brick geekery behind the design and execution of the plastic-block version of the cleanest vehicle charger around.

Via Treehugger

Images via KmanAuto via screengrab