June 25, 2024
Electric & Hybrid Cars

Electric vehicles with 800-volt technology to be available in 2024

As technology advances, electric cars are improving their fast-charging times. That means less time spent waiting at a DC public charger when you’re out on the road. While Level 3 chargers used to provide a maximum of 150 kilowatts of power, 350-kW chargers are becoming more common, making for super-fast charging … if your car is capable of taking advantage of it. So how do automakers improve the charging speed of their EV batteries? Some are turning to higher voltage, specifically 800V charging.

What’s the difference between 800-volt charging and 400-volt charging?

So how does 800V charging improve upon the more common 400V EVs? Put simply, the higher the voltage, the less amperage (current) it requires to charge. In other words, with more voltage, you get more wattage (power, aka charge rate) from the same amperage (current).

800V architecture is also more efficient, with less electrical resistance, so it can use thinner cables and smaller, lighter components while needing less cooling. The tradeoff is that it is more costly, and guess who that cost gets passed on to. While automakers don’t break down their pricing to show how much more you’re paying for that 800V system, you’ll just have to evaluate any potential purchases as a whole, and make your decision based on overall pricing of the vehicle. Thankfully, the 800V EVs on sale now are generally ones we like.

Now, 800V charging capability doesn’t necessarily mean an EV has 800V vehicle architecture. For instance, the GMC Hummer EV and Chevy Silverado EV operate at 400V, but with their dual battery packs, can switch to 800V when charging by temporarily connecting those packs in series.

Currently, there are only a handful of EVs available with 800V charging. But if you are going to find yourself taking longer trips in your EV and using DC fast chargers more often, you might want to consider choosing one with this faster charging capability. With that in mind, these are the EVs available with 800V charging, either on sale now or coming in 2024.

800-volt EVs available in 2024

*Coming later in 2024

FAQ

Q: Are 800V EVs more expensive than 400V EVs?

A: Yes, due to the higher voltage architecture and efficiency, 800V EVs tend to be more costly.

Conclusion

As electric cars continue to evolve, the introduction of 800V charging capability offers faster charging times and more efficient power delivery. While this technology may come at a higher cost, it is a worthwhile investment for those who frequently rely on DC fast chargers during long trips.

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