Hyundai says its new IONIQ 5 will dominate Tesla and the rest of the market on an increasingly important metric: miles per minute of charging.
The EV industry has long focused on improving charging technology in order to shorten the time it takes to charge up.
It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison between gas and electric, since electric vehicles have other advantages like charging overnight while parked.
But for long-distance trips, it’s important to be able to charge fast in order to get back on the road quickly.
For a while, the industry focused on achieving the top charge rate, and they have been going up.
From most electric cars just being able to achieve 50 kW only a few years ago, now most electric vehicles can achieve over 150 kW, and some of them can even charge at rates over 250 kW.
However, the top charge rate is not the best way to evaluate an EV’s charging capacity since it doesn’t tell you anything about how long it can maintain that charge rate.
Most battery packs can only safely take their max charge rate for a few minutes at a lower state of charge before slowing down charging.
More recently, the EV industry has shifted to talking about time to charge from 10% to 80% charging capacity, which would be a normal charging session on a road trip, and miles of range added per minute of charging.
The latter is particularly important because it also addresses the electric vehicle’s efficiency.
If you have a very high charge rate, but your vehicle takes more energy to get range, it might not add range as fast as a more efficient electric car that charges slower.
Those metrics are more useful to buyers, and Hyundai has been one of the main automakers pushing them.
That’s because the Korean automaker is the new king of electric vehicle charging speed.
Tesla has been dominating this space for a long time, but now Hyundai has shaken the industry with its new E-GMP platform, which works on an 800-volt battery system and utilizes a very advanced thermal management system to enable extremely fast charging.
In a new interview with Automotive News (paywalled), Ryan Miller, manager of electrified powertrain development at the Hyundai Kia America Technical Center in Chino, California, commented on their technology:
If you compare us to a Tesla Model Y or an electric SUV in our segment, we’re going to dominate them on miles of range added. Our ultimate goal is not competitor EVs — it’s internal combustion engines. And to close that gap is a monumental task. We’ve made this huge improvement, but we still have more to do.
As seen below, the automaker is able to maintain a charge rate over 150 kW for almost the entire charging session:
When talking about going to an 800-volt system instead of Tesla’s 400-volt system with a higher current, Miller commented:
From our perspective, we couldn’t deploy the same strategy as Tesla in the long term. It wouldn’t be competitive for us. We had to develop a state-of-the art cooling system to support that. This battery has a cooling system that has what we call in-cell cooling, so the actual edge of the physical battery cells are in contact with the cooling plate. This facilitates really rapid cooling during fast charging.
This new system is all Hyundai electric vehicles using the new E-GMP platform – starting with the IONIQ 5.
In the US, the new electric vehicle is coming in the fall to local Hyundai dealers.
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