800v charging speed. What does it even mean? Does it really matter? Aren’t the only really important parts of a charger are its kilowattage and whether the power is AC or DC? Those are important aspects for any EV charger. However, there are some lesser-known numbers that are about to become a lot more important.
800V CHARGING INNOVATION AND WHAT IT MEANS
Anyone who’s been paying attention for the last 10 years or so knows that technology advances at a lightning-fast pace. This is true for innovation happening in cell phones, medical equipment, electric vehicles, and even their chargers. When you think about charging up your vehicle, you probably consider the speed of the charger. If you know enough about your car, you might be aware of its kilowatt (kW) input capacity – the maximum amount of wattage it can transfer from the charger at once. Some cars have a high transfer rate, allowing them to charge at speeds in excess of 150kW. Conversely, others never top 50kW, even if they’re hooked up to a faster charger. That could mean charging from 10%-80% in 20 minutes or in an hour!
So, what’s this volt thing and why does it really matter? First, higher voltage drive systems are able to provide the same amount of power with less current. The end result is lighter cables and a lower overall weight to the vehicle, automatically increasing the EV’s range. Second, and more significant for drivers and operators of EV chargers, is that some modern charging stations can make use of the new drive systems. If an EV has an 800v charging architecture and the charging station can match or beat that, charging time drops significantly – potentially charging the car up to 2x faster!
FUTUREPROOF FAST CHARGING
Not every charging station can keep up, though. Lots of older or less-advanced stations just don’t have the internal architecture that allows them to offer the kind of lightning-fast charge people are quickly going to expect. Drivers will soon be looking for not just DC fast chargers but specifically for ones that can give them the charging speed they want. The Noodoe EV Exceed DC series, for example, is built with a 950v internal structure that more than meets those needs. They’re futureproof in every way you can imagine!
800V OR BUST!
BYD’s new Blade battery is expected to include an 800v structure. According to the company, this will allow it to charge 90 miles of range in only 5 minutes. BYD first showed off the new battery earlier this year in Shanghai. It’s intended to be an integrated part of their 3.0 e-platform.
New Audi eTron GTs will include both 800v structure and the ability to charge up to 270kW. That’s incredibly fast! It puts it in line with the grandparent of 800v charging: the Porsche Taycan.
HYUNDAI MOTOR GROUP
South Korean Hyundai Motor Group announced in July that the Kia EV6 also includes that 800v charging speed. Per the press release, the Kia EV6 will be able to charge 10%-80% in only 18 minutes. This is, of course, assuming the charger can keep up with these new standards.
In addition to the EV6, Hyundai will also include the 800v system on the new Ioniq 5. They’re both based on the E-GMP platform for electric vehicles.
The above-mentioned vehicles are new players, of course. The first and still most powerful vehicle that can use this kind of charging is the cutting-edge Porsche Taycan, released in 2019 with an 800v internal architecture. However, for the Taycan to truly charge at its fastest rate, it needs a charger that can meet both the 800v requirement and be able to transfer at least 270kW of power. Not a lot of chargers out there can do that yet (the DC Exceed 360P can), but it’s quickly turning into a race to offer the best, fastest charge. Just as they have with DC fast chargers, EV drivers are going to prioritize charging at more powerful speeds when they’re trying to fill up and get back on the road. That means demand for chargers that can pass the test.
THE BOTTOM LINE
This isn’t yet the industry standard, but it will be soon. Most EVs produced at the moment have 400v internal architecture. However, that’s not going to be the case forever. We know that EV technology is advancing quickly. When installing an EV charger, it’s important to take this knowledge into account. For chargers to be truly futureproof, they must be able to meet the market demands that are coming, not just the ones already in place.