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Hyundai and Kia confirm 800 volt electric vehicles

Mainstream carmakers are about to make a big step to reduce range anxiety.

The Hyundai Motor Group has announced that it will join forces with Ionity, a European fast-charging network, and introduce 800 volt electric vehicles by 2021.

In partnering with Ionity, HMG joins BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen Group to have an even split share of the network. Ionity plans to have 400 fast charging stations across Europe by 2020, rated up to 350kW and 800V.

Porsche was the first manufacturer to reveal 800V architecture in its fully-electric Taycan, which has broken new ground in performance and charging of electric vehicles. Because of 800V, it can recharge 100km range in around five minutes, and go from 5 to 80 percent charge in 20 minutes. Its rated range is up to 412km WLTP. In a test, the German maker was able to drive almost 3500km in 24 hours.

Such recharging times will be welcomed by urbanites thinking of an electric vehicle, though Porsche’s debut EV is out of reach to many. But Kia and Hyundai’s models will likely be positioned to the mainstream, with both brands aiming to release 44 electric models by 2025.

There is also the potential for a performance flagship electric car, Hyundai having announced a partnership with electric supercar parts supplier and car builder Rimac. The Genesis Essentia is on the cards as a possible product that will spawn from the relationship.

Locally, Charge Fox is installing 150kW DC fast-chargers that the company says will be fully compatible with 800V technology. Hyundai is already anticipating that recharging its EVs will become easier than refuelling.

“Our participation in this joint venture reaffirms the Group’s commitment to future electromobility,” said Thomas Schemera, executive VP and head of product division at Hyundai Motor Group.

“I am confident that our work with Ionity will open a new era of high-power charging experiences, where charging will be seamless and easier than refuelling for our customers.”

In its release to the media, Hyundai further confirmed its venture in 800 volt architecture.

“The decision to join this network will provide enhanced benefits for Hyundai and Kia’s European customers. Starting in 2021, Hyundai and Kia EVs will be equipped with 800 volt charging systems to accommodate Ionity’s maximum charging power of 350 kilowatts. Customers will be able to use Ionity’s HPC facilities, which are equipped with digital payment options, to significantly reduce charging times and better facilitate long-distance travel.”

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae