Tesla’s Supercharger Scaleback Spells Trouble for Cybertruck, Signaling Another Setback

Tesla’s hot new flagship vehicle, the Cybertruck, comes with some big charging improvements. But those improvements are incompatible with most of Tesla’s existing Supercharger network, and now that Tesla is pulling back on its Supercharger rollout, it may leave Cybertruck out in the cold.

Last week, Tesla abruptly fired its entire Supercharging team, leading to an immediate pullback in Supercharger installation plans.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that “Tesla still plans to grow the Supercharger network, just at a slower pace for new locations and more focus on 100% uptime and expansion of existing locations” (according to Tesla’s website, Superchargers currently have 99.95% uptime).

The focus on existing locations is important, because Tesla’s Supercharger is in need of upgrades. And one major reason for that is its Cybertruck, which is large and barely fits in a lot of current Supercharger spots, not to mention that the system currently lacks compatibility with some of the Cybertruck’s main charging benefits.

The Cybertruck comes with 800-volt charging capability, which is different from most other EVs that run at 400-volts. It can still charge on a 400V charger, but an 800V charger should offer faster speeds (which is important, because Cybertruck’s 400V charging speed isn’t great so far).

But most of Tesla’s Superchargers don’t support 800V – at least the ones from the previous three generations. Tesla’s new V4 Superchargers do support 800V charging, but they still make up a small percentage of Supercharger sites.

Not only does V4 support 800V it also has a longer cable. Tesla’s V1-V3 Superchargers have cables that only reach a few feet from the charging unit, meaning you need to back in pretty close to them in order to plug in.

This has created a bit of a problem for Cybertruck, which is much bigger than other Tesla vehicles. We spotted this as an issue before the Cybertruck was even released, with a video of a Cybertruck having to back right up against a pole in order to reach its charging port, which is somewhat awkwardly placed along the wheel well of the truck.

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