Currently reading: Under the skin: two reasons why EV charging times are set to plummet
800V EV charging is set to close the convenience gap with conventional cars
News
3 mins read
1 June 2020

EV charging times are likely to tumble soon and industry sources predict that in five years it should be possible to ultra-rapid-charge even a high-capacity EV battery en route in under 10 minutes.

But this will be a story of two parts, the first being the introduction of high-power charging and the second improvements to the way batteries are designed (rather than any new miracle chemistry).

Most EVs today are equipped with 400V electrical systems, which are rated by the industry as high-voltage systems. Electrical power is measured in watts and the power in watts is worked out by multiplying the voltage by the current in amperes.

To increase the power in watts that an EV system can deliver, or the charge it can accept, either the voltage or the current (amperage) needs to be increased. The problem with using a higher current is that it requires bigger, heavier cables with thicker insulation and it generates more heat, so the alternative is to increase the voltage instead, hence the introduction of 800V electrical architecture by Porsche. Increasing the system’s power allows both higher performance and faster charging.

Most public rapid chargers can replenish at up to 50kW DC but ultra-rapid chargers delivering up to 150kW and a handful of 800V, ultra-rapid chargers capable of 350kW from Ionity began to appear last year. The Porsche Taycan is the first to be able to take advantage of the 350kW chargers thanks to its 800V electrical architecture.

According to Porsche, taking a Taycan battery from 5% to 80% charge at one of the new Ionity chargers takes a tad over 20 minutes. Even then, the Porsche isn’t using the full capacity of the charger, drawing power at a peak of 270kW. But charge speed isn’t just about charger power: it’s also governed by how fast the battery cells can accept charge, and that’s the other part of the story. The best is yet to come as battery design catches up with EV electrical and charging systems.

The logic behind charging at such a high rate is to achieve some parity with conventionally fuelled cars in highway driving over distances, so 800V technology is about convenience as well as performance.

Compare average EV journey times using 50kW rapid chargers with those of conventional cars on a 450-mile trip at motorway cruising speeds and there’s a big gap.

A conventional car may be stopping for a splash and dash, but Porsche estimates the EV making two much lengthier refuelling stops will take around 45% longer, compared with around 10% longer at close to 350kW. Put another way, an EV with a large battery capacity charging at close to 350kW and 800V could take on enough charge to cover 125 miles in a mere eight minutes.

Ionity was set up by a group of major car makers so it’s fair to assume 800V systems will eventually appear in EVs further down the food chain than the Taycan. When that happens, the difference in ‘refuelling’ times between a family EV and a conventional car could become insignificant.

Change is good - in a 'Vette

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review
Porsche Taycan 2020 road test review - hero front

Is this 751bhp all-electric Taycan Turbo S a proper Porsche sports car, as its maker claims?

Back to top

General Motors’ sell-out 2020 Corvette Stingray is equipped with an eight-speed Tremec dual-clutch transmission designed especially for the job. The gearbox has a low first gear for quick getaways, gears two to six are close ratio and seven and eight are taller for cruising. Algorithms in the 32-bit controller adapt to the driver’s style.

READ MORE

Top 10 best electric cars 2020

Used EV guide: how to buy a second-hand electric car

Under the skin: How better AC/DC inversion will boost EVs

Join the debate

Comments
19

1 June 2020

So in other words wait 5 years for this to happen.

1 June 2020
manicm wrote:

So in other words wait 5 years for this to happen.

1 June 2020
manicm wrote:

So in other words wait 5 years for this to happen.

 

Tesla supercharger does 250KW today, which equates to more miles per minute.

 

It does this with 400v architecture

 

There are a number of Tesla taxis on half a million miles are they are exclusively charged on superchargers.

1 June 2020

I'm waiting for it to become affordable.

1 June 2020
275not599 wrote:

I'm waiting for it to become affordable.

 

The average sale price of a new car in the UK is £35k

 

There are plenty of EVs for that or less.

 

Cost of ownership is much lower, currently a Model 3 losses only 5% of its value in the first year.

1 June 2020
Just because the average price is 35k doesn't make it affordable. I can comfortably afford to get myself into a 35k car, but I could not afford to buy a 35k car. Yes, a lot of electric cars are available for far less than that, but most do not purchase a car outright so that figure is largely irrelevant. Electric vehicles are generally far more to lease or finance on monthly payments then their petrol/diesel equivalent.

A Tesla M3 may only lose a small amount over it's 1st year, but that is a distorted figure caused by availability and demand, most ownerships/agreements last 2 or 3 years longer, if the model S is anything to go by, the 3 will fair no better to a petrol/diesel model equivalent for depreciation.

1 June 2020

 Now tell the companies putting these charging stations in to get there finger out and work faster!

1 June 2020
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Now tell the companies putting these charging stations in to get there finger out and work faster!

 

The industry needs to "want it", compare and contrast with the supercharger network built out entirely with manufacturer's funds.

1 June 2020

Some of these EVs will have 10 or 20 thousand pounds worth of batteries on board - so it would be interesting to know what the impact of regular ultra fast charging will have on battery life. Also, there will be a loss of charging efficiency at these high rates, partly negating the inherent high efficiency of EVs. And I don't doubt that these ultra fast chargers will involve high cost per unit electricity prices, so it's not all good news for owners.  

1 June 2020
LP in Brighton wrote:

Some of these EVs will have 10 or 20 thousand pounds worth of batteries on board - so it would be interesting to know what the impact of regular ultra fast charging will have on battery life. .  

This is one of my concerns, as I tend to keep my cars for a long time, and I don't want to be doing something which is going to affect range longer term. I guess the capability is good to have for the odd 'emergency' situation though.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review