With an 800-volt architecture and charging capacities of up to 250 kW, Kia’s new EV6 electric car is not only challenging Tesla. Bigger and wider, but also heavier and more expensive: That was the formula so far to make electric cars suitable for everyday use. The vehicle manufacturers donated ever larger batteries that could absorb more energy. This increased the range, but at the same time the vehicle weight increased – and the bottom line was the vehicle price.
The Tesla Model S of the first generation was still offered with a battery that stored 40 kilowatt hours (kWh). A 60 kWh battery was later installed – now the electric car is only offered with batteries that can nominally store 100 kWh of electricity. Resource conservation looks different. And the ever larger batteries are also not good for the ecological balance of the electric car.
The good news is that the arms race could shift soon. In the future, it is possible that the storage capacity will no longer stand out in electric poker, but the charging speed. The decisive question is no longer how far you can get with a single charge, but how fast the battery can be charged. With several short pit stops, but higher travel speeds, the electric vehicle and its occupants reach their destination faster – and the driver is much more relaxed.
800 volt technology in large-scale production
Porsche and Audi have paved the way for the luxury class with their 800 volt architecture and charging capacities of up to 270 kilowatts. Hyundai-Kia Motors Corporation is now the first volume manufacturer to bring 800-volt technology into large-scale production – with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6 as pioneers. For this purpose, the group has developed a new electrical platform called E-GMP (Electric Global Modular Platform), which currently enables the installation of batteries with storage capacities of 58 and 77.4 kWh and drive powers of up to 430 kW (600 PS), but above all the use of fast-charging stations with both 400 volt and 800-volt technology is permitted.
Ideally, it should only take 18 minutes to bring a battery with a state of charge (SoC) of 10 percent back to 80 percent of its capacity. In other words: a five-minute break is enough to regain a range of 100 kilometers. So in the future, you will have to hurry on long-distance trips with these electric cars if the pit stop is also to be used to wash your hands or the like.
“Seat rehearsal” near Wiesbaden
Whether the technology also works in everyday life as promised remains to be seen – the market launch of the two new models will not take place until autumn. After all, we were able to take a closer look at the new Kia EV6 in a photo studio near Wiesbaden – during a “seat rehearsal”. To summarize the impressions here: Something big has come about.