Toyota and Lexus were known to be working on the 800-volt electric vehicles. Green Car Reports reports that in an interview with Lexus’s Chief engineer, the companies are ready with the vehicle. However, the prototype might not get along with the electrical architectures, charging rates, and other factors according to the engineer.
Lexus Chief engineer Takashi Watanabe talks about larger battery packs needing faster architecture. And further needs charging infrastructure accordingly.
When asked if Toyota and Lexus have finished work on an 800-volt electrical architecture, Wantanabe answered quickly: “Yes.” But the first electric Lexus sold in the U.S., the 2023 RZ 450e, will not feature such an electric architecture or charge rate. The max charge rate of its 71.4-kWh battery pack will be 150 kW and it charges and runs at about 400 volts. The reason, according to Watanabe, is the relationship between the battery capacity and charging. The executive reasons that larger battery packs warrant the faster electrical architecture and charge rates. For Toyota and Lexus it’ll be viewed upon a “case-by-case basis,” Watanabe said. The breakover point will be about 100 kWh, according to Watanabe. That’s where charging rates will need to be faster and the electrical architecture will benefit from 800 volts.
Watanabe notes higher charge power (above the 150 kW mark) is expensive both on the vehicle hardware side and infrastructure side of the equation. The executive was quick to point out that different regions are at different points in infrastructure development at this time. Region-specific needs will dictate a lot of what the automaker does. While the U.S. is (slowly) starting to roll out 350 kW fast-charging stations, the predominant rate is 150 kW for fast charging at this time.
“CCS is the global standard, it’s something that’s convenient, and CCS 150 (kW) looks like it’ll be the majority for the foreseeable future,” Watanabe said, referring to globalized charging rates that look beyond America and at the market as a whole. The executive elaborated by saying for instance electric motor control, charging, supporting systems or new value services can all be enhanced using OTA technology. So the key to this is an updateable ECU system and communication system that Lexus is working to put together. But like many other variables, Watanabe said a lot of this will be defined by the needs of each region. Earlier Watanabe had noted that while the U.S. market views 200 miles of range as low, it’s viewed as more than plenty of range in markets like China.
Credits- Green Car Reports