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by Tim Beissmann

Electric vehicle specialist Tesla says it will unveil a new fast-charging system early next year that can transfer driving range at a rate of 300 miles (483km) per hour.

Tesla chief technology officer J.B. Straubel told industry journal Automotive News the company has developed a 90kW, 440-volt ‘Supercharger’ that can fully recharge a vehicle with a 300-mile range in just 60 minutes.

Straubel insisted the technology was “not science fiction”, confirming that Tesla would take the wraps off its revolutionary Supercharger “in less than one year”.

Tesla’s Supercharger promises to be close to five times faster than its existing 240-volt high-power home wall charger, which delivers 100km of range per hour, and close to 10 times quicker than its 50km-range/hour mobile connector, which is designed for recharges when you’re away from home.

Tesla’s website says Superchargers will not be for everyday use, but rather for refuelling quickly on road trips. Superchargers will be positioned “at convenient locations along major interstates” throughout the US.

The news comes as Tesla begins delivering the first of its mainstream Model S luxury sedans to customers in the US.

The Tesla Model S is initially only available with a single high-performance 85kWh battery pack that facilitates up to 483km of pure electric driving between charges. The flagship Signature Performance model produces 310kW of power and 600Nm of torque and accelerates from 0-60mph (96.6km/h) in just 4.4 seconds.

Later this year, Tesla will add two cheaper Model S variants with 40kWh and 60kWh battery options, providing a maximum driving range of 257km and 370km respectively, while still delivering straight-line performance of 6.5secs and 5.9secs.

The Tesla Model S is set to go on sale in Australia in the second half of next year, priced below $150,000.




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