800V EVs Architecture -Charge Faster, Drive Longer

What is the 800V Architecture?

Electric vehicles contain various electrical components, including batteries, motors, power electronics, and auxiliary devices and circuits, collectively referred to as the electrical architecture. When the working voltage of high-voltage components is controlled within the range of 300-500V, it is called a 400V architecture. If it is controlled within 600-900V, it is called an 800V architecture. Note that 800V is not a fixed number; it refers to the range of 600-900V.

Advantages of the 800V Architecture

Advantage 1: Enhanced Fast Charging Speed

According to the formula for charging power, increasing voltage or current can boost the charging speed. However, high current can lead to heating and increased losses, making it more reasonable to increase voltage. Doubling the voltage doubles the charging power, theoretically halving the charging time. However, the latter part of fast charging reduces power progressively, so the actual charging time doesn’t decrease proportionally. The specific effect depends on the performance indicators of the charging station, such as maximum power, voltage, and current. Therefore, 800V vehicles exhibit significantly improved charging speeds, with variations depending on the charging station. Moreover, using batteries capable of handling higher currents can further accelerate charging speed.

charging speed

Advantage 2: Reduced Vehicle Energy Consumption
  1. As the working voltage of vehicle components increases, the current decreases, leading to a noticeable reduction in heat generation and losses, as per the current heat formula.
  2. An 800V architecture with higher voltage necessitates the use of silicon carbide (SiC) for voltage and current conversion devices, resulting in an approximately 8% reduction in overall vehicle energy consumption. In summary, the 800V architecture allows for longer range and faster charging, making electric vehicles more competitive and a prevailing trend in electric vehicle development.

Disadvantages of the 800V Architecture

  1. Increased Vehicle Costs:

Equipment in 800V architectures needs to be redesigned and tested, and high-cost components like SiC can lead to higher short-term vehicle equipment costs.

  1. Dependence on Charging Stations for Charging Speed:

800V vehicles generally have a maximum charging power exceeding 200KW, whereas most charging stations are around 120KW. Thus, the full potential of reduced charging time may not           be realized.

Various Forms of the 800V Architecture

Considering the advantages and disadvantages mentioned above, there are different forms of the 800V architecture to maximize benefits while mitigating downsides.

  1. Entire Vehicle High Voltage Equipment at 800V: All high-voltage equipment in the vehicle operates within the 800V range, eliminating the need for voltage conversion between devices. Pros: Fast charging, lowest energy consumption Cons: Higher cost
  2. Select High Voltage Equipment at 800V: Only the high-voltage battery pack and drive motor operate at 800V, while other equipment uses 400V, necessitating voltage conversion between devices. Pros: Fast charging, lower energy consumption, lower cost for 400V equipment Cons: Additional voltage conversion devices, leading to some losses
  3. 400V Architecture with 800V Charging Support: The battery pack can switch voltage, charging at 800V and discharging at 400V, with other high-voltage equipment operating at 400V. Pros: Faster charging, lower equipment cost Cons: Complex battery pack, energy consumption remains high

These forms represent different evolutionary stages from 400V to 800V. As the cost of 800V components decreases, full 800V architecture or even higher voltages may become the standard.

 

800V Vehicles and Charging Stations

  1. 400V and 800V vehicles can be fully compatible with charging stations:
    • 800V vehicles using 400V charging stations can boost voltage using on-board voltage converters.
    • 400V vehicles using 800V charging stations is simpler, as the charging station can output the required voltage and current according to the vehicle’s needs.
  2. 800V vehicles are faster on all charging stations: According to the 2015 national standard, the maximum voltage and current of charging stations are 1000V/250A. Most charging stations currently operate at a maximum voltage and current of 750V/250A. In other words, 800V vehicles can run at full power on most existing 120KW-180KW charging stations and sustain higher charge levels. Meanwhile, 400V vehicles have lower power and shorter charging times. A new version of the charging standard is set to be released, further increasing voltage and current limits, but the upgrading of charging stations may take time.
  3. There are already many 800V charging stations: Many charging stations built over the years are compatible with 800V vehicles. Approximately 70% of quick charging stations support voltages over 750V.

800v charging

Future of the 800V Architecture

  1. 800V vehicles will become mainstream: Leading automotive companies have already announced plans for 800V vehicles, and it’s expected that a large number of them will hit the market in the coming years.
  2. Planning for High-Power Supercharging Stations: Some automakers and charging infrastructure companies are working to establish high-power supercharging stations, with plans or existing charging station numbers as follows:
  3. Challenges in Building High-Power Supercharging Stations:
  •  Charging stations with currents exceeding 300A require liquid-cooled charging guns, which are relatively expensive.
  •  Supercharging stations often use a single station with multiple charging points, which distribute power dynamically. This ensures efficiency but reduces the chance for individual vehicles to achieve maximum power.
  • The construction and operation of supercharging stations can have a significant impact on the power grid, often necessitating the addition of energy storage systems, which come at a high cost.

Conclusion:

With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles and the growing demands for longer ranges and shorter charging times, electric cars are expected to advance further and truly meet people’s transportation needs across various scenarios. As for charging stations, various manufacturers are actively developing liquid-cooled DC charging guns to enhance charging efficiency and device stability. Miles Energy will continue to provide reliable products including ev charging cables and ev chargers, and let us all work together for electrification efforts.

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