The current EV landscape is a bit fractured at the moment, with various charging standards, system architectures, and voltage specifications. But as with the evolution of most technologies, there is beginning to be a convergence around some common standards and specifications. A recent article by Automotive News (subscription required) says many OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers believe the industry will begin to coalesce around the 800V standard around 2025. EV chargers
The 800V spec isn’t exactly new, first coming to market in models such as the Porsche Taycan, and most recently in the Hyundai Group’s E-GMP models, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.
However, many OEMs were hesitant to adopt the standard in the early stages due to cost considerations. The Hyundai Group shifted the paradigm and conversation by adopting 800V for the E-GMP chassis, one of the first applications for mainstream, volume models, in a prescient bet that the specification would eventually become the predominant standard for EVs globally.
Depending on the sources and outlets you follow or give credence to, EVs are either an imminent reality that will be the majority of vehicles on the road within the next decade, or decades off from being truly mainstream. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle. But for EVs to resonate with everyday car buyers, convenience will be key. And there’s little question that a faster charging time is better from a convenience standpoint.
While only a small handful of public DCFC stations can currently take full advantage of the 800V architecture, that number is increasing by the day, and we are probably not that far away from the majority of public DCFC stations being 150 kW or higher within the next 5 years.
The EV charging infrastructure globally is inconsistent at best, with countries such as The Netherlands and Norway leading in public charging availability and access, and others, and sadly in many parts of the United States, lagging badly behind. Anecdotally, many EV buyers purchase a car with little understanding of the differences between Level 1, Level 2, 110/120V or 220/240V, the difference in charging times, and the significant increase they will see on their electricity bills (although still usually MUCH less than they were spending on gasoline or diesel fuel in their previous ICE vehicles), not even factoring in the typical 3-4x improvement in energy efficiency and utilization over an ICE equivalent.
We are likely 5-7 years away from EVs ceasing to be “weird” or “exotic” and simply being accepted by the majority of the car buying public as being normal, or even the preferred option in many cases. There are many other factors that need to converge for this rosy scenario to play out how EV advocates would like, and the perfect convergence of on-board charging capability, public charging infrastructure availability, and widespread adoption of Plug&Charge (ISO 15118) make driving an EV a convenient, intuitive, pleasant experience. EV chargers