Hyundai Pioneering 800V Charging Tech

The Hyundai Group, including the main Hyundai brand and Kia, will equip its cars with an 800 volt charging system from 2021, in order to achieve 350 kW charging from partner IONITY.

Additionally, Delphi Automotive has announced it has developed an 800 volt silicon carbide inverter, claiming to be the first in the industry with this high power charging technology.

800 volt charging systems are crucial for delivering faster charging times, as more power can be delivered to the individual battery cells in the same time. In a battery, individual cells are linked together in series – while an individual cell may only be a few volts, when linked together the voltage adds up. The more cells that are linked together in series, the higher the voltage. Currently, most cars use 400V batteries, but to achieve lower charging times, this will have to change to 800V as soon as possible.

The Hyundai Group has partnered with IONITY, the European venture to create a high power charging network across the continent, which counts Daimler, Ford, VW and BMW amongst its ranks. IONITY is using 800 volt systems to achieve this, and plans to have high-power chargers capable of a maximum of 350kW, which only an 800 volt system can provide. As part of this the new Porsche Taycan is one of the first cars to use an 800 volt battery.

Delphi, meanwhile, has developed an 800 volt silicon carbide inverter. While 800 volts are an important part of enabling high power charging, a silicon carbide inverter plays another vital role: higher frequency switching in the semiconductors, meaning the motors can be lighter and more efficient, as well as cheaper for manufacturers.

An unnamed OEM has already placed an order worth $2.7 billion, for eight years, showing the technology is in demand. Market launch is expected to occur in 2022.

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