Chinese automaker Xpeng is the latest to pivot to 800-volt charging architecture, which the company claims will add 124 miles of range in just five minutes of charging.
Xpeng rolled out the new charging plans as part of its 2021 Tech Day presentation, claiming it will have the first 800-volt charging network in China. The company plans to build 480-kw charging stations supported by both stationary and mobile "power storage facility," according to an Xpeng press release.
Xpeng teamed up with fellow Chinese automaker Nio for charging in 2019, and now claims to have 1,648 free charging stations in China.
That same year Xpeng unveiled the sub-$40,000 P7 sedan, which was billed as a Tesla rival. It followed that up last month with the smaller P5 sedan, boasting a roughly $25,000 base price, maximum range of 372 miles (as measured on the NEDC testing cycle) and advanced driver-assist tech.
Xpeng 800-volt charging
It's unclear if Xpeng EVs will ever be sold in the United States, but 800-volt architecture could soon become more common here.
Suppliers have been suggesting that a broad shift to 800 volts is going to happen in next-generation EVs, and several automakers seem eager to make that prediction come true.
Hyundai claims that its 800-volt platform is part of what will enable the Ioniq 5 EV to dominate the Tesla Model Y in fast-charging rate. Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson recently said that ultra high voltage is the future for EVs, and that its 924-volt system in the Air is "an inherent advantage" for range and efficiency.
Not everyone agrees on the importance of 800-volt charging, however. The Mercedes-Benz EQS flagship sedan stuck with 400 volts as its basis.