800 V architectures they are postulated as one of the cornerstones around which the technology of electric cars of the next generation will be established. Although there are manufacturers that already mass-produce models with 800 V nominal voltage platforms, Tesla is not among themand they have recently revealed the reason why the Tesla Model 3, and not even the Model S, resort to this type of platform; paltry profit margin compared to 400V.
This has been confirmed by Elon Musk himself in conjunction with the head of powertrain and energy engineering, Andrew Baglino, during the presentation of the company’s results for the first quarter of this year. According to their estimates, moving from using platforms based around 800 V electrical schemes instead of the 400 V of their current electric cars would hardly entail a profit of 100 dollars for each unit traded.
Although it is true that 100 dollars for each unit sold of its electric cars can report a profit margin of one hundred million dollars for every million electric cars sold (something that they will presumably achieve at the end of each year soon), the deployment of means and the investment necessary to develop this technology, in addition to matching it with a recharging network designed for this type of architecture, currently lead to Tesla to scrap the idea for its passenger cars.
However, this possibility is being considered for the models with the greatest physical volume on which the company is working and which do need their own charging infrastructure, the Tesla Cybertruck (Tesla’s electric pick-up) and the Tesla Semi (the electric truck for long-distance transport).
And it is that, working with a higher voltage brings an advantage beyond having access to shorter charging times, since 800 V architectures are also lighter than those of 400 V. The higher voltage allows to achieve speeds of rotation in much larger engines, which means that it is easier to achieve power and therefore it is possible to design smaller and lighter engines to achieve the same performance.
This aspect, therefore, will also help improve the efficiency of models as large and heavy as the Cybertruck and Semi aspire to be, in addition to allowing them to charge faster what will possibly be the largest batteries that Tesla will manufacture.
Among the manufacturers that do already work with architectures of this type are the Volkswagen Group and Hyundai Motors, who through their firms Hyundai, KIA, Porsche and Audi market the Ioniq 5, KIA EV6, Audi e-tron GT and Porsche Taycan, all based on 800 V platforms (e-GMP for Koreans and J1 for Germans) and thanks to which they are the electric cars that can achieve the highest charging power today.