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Tesla patent application details liquid-cooled charger connector

The application could preface faster charging systems from Tesla.

2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

A handful of problems keep car buyers from ditching fossil fuels and plugging in electric cars. One of the main reasons? Charging times take far too long compared to a trip to the gas station. Tesla, among numerous other companies, is working on ways to speed the process up.

In a new patent application that Tesla submitted this past March and published last week, the company details a liquid-cooled charger connection. That is, the component that actually plugs into the car. Why is a liquid-cooled connection a big deal? The cooler the component, the higher current load it can handle. 

Tesla liquid-cooled charger patent application

Right now, typical charging cables and connectors can't handle super high voltage because they simply can't dissipate heat well enough. With a liquid-cooled unit, companies and automakers can dial up the voltage to charge electric cars quicker. And quicker-charging EVs can help solve one of the main roadblocks to adoption.

Tesla already rolled out a liquid-cooled charging cable with the advent of its V3 Supercharger station, but a liquid-cooled connector would only benefit the process further. Within the connector, the patent application describes "An inlet conduit and an outlet conduit within the manifold assembly" that altogether "create a fluid flow path."

The V3 Superchargers just now rolling out offer peak charging rates of up to 250 kilowatts per car. In roughly five minutes, a Tesla Model 3 Long Range will see 75 miles of range added. Additionally, the latest Supercharger stations do not need to split power between vehicles. Full power is available all the time for a single car's battery.

We'll see if this improvement rolls out to Supercharger stations in the near future, or if this is for something different entirely. In the meantime, Tesla owners already have plenty to keep occupied with. The automaker's V10 software update started to roll out with numerous new features last week.

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