Our coverage of the all-new Porsche Taycan continues with a closer look at the 800V internal and charging infrastructure on-board to streamline and future-proof the Taycan.
The Porsche Taycan will launch as the first production car to utilise an 800V operating and charging infrastructure. It's a huge step forward for electric vehicles because it allows faster and higher capacity charging without the need for thicker, heavier cables – good for a weight saving of around 4.0kg.
Using this charging infrastructure, Porsche is able to achieve a DC charge rate of 270kW, peaking at around 50 per cent SoC (State of Charge).
Bump it down to 400V, and using the inbuilt DC charger the Taycan can currently charge at a rate of 50kW DC, or up to 150kW DC with an optional charger.
In addition to its DC charger, Taycan also has an on-board AC charger capable of charging at a rate of 11kW over three phase.
Why is 800V so important?
Let's have a look at the basics of DC transfer. For the basis of simplicity, the general equation for direct current power is Power = Voltage x Current. Further, the diameter of an electrical cable determines how much current can safely flow through it.
So, by using that equation, if you have an amount of current you need to push through a cable, you can reduce the size of that cable by increasing the voltage, because power is a product of voltage and current.
Increase the voltage but retain the same current, and you'll achieve a higher power output.
Resistivity of a cable increases when the diameter of the cable is reduced, but in this instance it's not enough of a resistance increase to offset the weight reduction benefits achieved by moving to a smaller set of cables.
As battery technology and thermal management evolves, Porsche will be able to use over-the-air updates to increase the charge rate of Taycan, with the company currently working on charge rates of 400-500kW at 800V.
This charge rate would effectively halve the time required for an additional 100km of range from the current five minutes to about three minutes.
Consisting of 33 cell modules with 12 individual cells in each, the total battery capacity comes in at just over 93kWh. The pouch cells live within a stack of electrodes surrounded by a composite foil material.
It allows the cells to sit within a rectangular enclosure and fill the entire space, which reduces weight overall.
Each of the modules has an internal control unit that monitors voltage and temperature. Each of the modules is connected by a common busbar for current transfer.
Just like all electric vehicles, the ability to charge at a maximum theoretical speed is limited by thermal management.
The battery needs to be within a certain temperature band to retain a maximum charge rate and there's only so much you can do to instantly hit that temperature band when charging the vehicle.
Porsche manages this with internal software called the Charging Planner. If you use the satellite navigation and enter a destination requiring a charging stop, the vehicle is able to use its own battery power to increase or decrease the battery's operating temperature to its high-speed charging sweet spot of 30°C.
By doing this, it can achieve its 5-80 per cent state of charge rate of just 22.5 minutes at 270kW.
If you attempt the same charge at a lower ambient temperature without battery conditioning, the time required to achieve the same charge almost doubles.
Unlike a lot of electric cars on the market, the Taycan is able to regenerate up to 265kW of power when the driver lifts off the throttle, which allows it to decelerate at a rate of 3.8m/s².
Most other electric cars will regenerate less than half of that figure, making the Taycan particularly efficient at pumping energy back into the battery that would otherwise have been lost to friction as heat.
The other benefit of this, according to Porsche, is that 90 per cent of the Taycan's deceleration will be by regeneration. That means the brakes will last longer, with Porsche now prescribing a pad change every six years to accommodate their use (or lack thereof).
Intelligent power management continues at home, where customers are able to install the Porsche Home Energy Manager that monitors all house electricity phases to determine if a blackout will potentially occur (i.e. a circuit breaker overload) if the car charger ramps up to 11kW while other high-energy devices are in use (such as a dryer, oven, etc.).
By monitoring the circuits it can ramp the car's charging power up at low-peak times and then taper energy use when other appliances are in use.
You can read more about the all-new Taycan on our landing page here.
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