Tesla suggests possible shift to 800V in cybertruck and semi, robotaxi or not

Tesla has redesigned its Model Y on more easy productivity, employing a structural pack, new-format 4680 cell, and huge cast front and rear body sections.

Despite all these innovations, there are no plans to move to the 800-volt architecture of Tesla’s smaller models at any time. But based on comments from CEO Elon Musk and CTO Drew Baglino in the company’s Q1 call with analysts and investors on Wednesday, this is a unique prospect for Cybertruck, Semi and any other large or high-powered vehicle.

Regarding model 3 and model Y, Baglino explained, “There is nothing to encourage us to do that on that platform.

2022 Tesla Lineup (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

2022 Tesla Lineup (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

Baglino called it a case-by-case consideration – that “with 800 volts there are some victories and defeats; not all is well.”

Musk goes on to say that in the years to come it will probably be understandable to go with 800V, “but for the cost of switching from 400 to 800 volts it really requires a very large amount of car.”

“In larger vehicles, where you are talking about high power on the charging side or high power from battery to electronics or you need more torque, so the current requirements increase, there is a bit more semiconductor and actual conductor storage. Going to high voltage, “Baglino says.” And so we consider it for cm and cybertruck. “

Tesla Semi (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

Tesla Semi (Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.)

The company has given itself some extra time for these two products. Tesla has delayed the new Roadstar, including these two products, until 2023, first citing a battery pinch, then the most recent supply chain delays and chip shortages.

During the recent official opening for Tesla’s huge Texas factory, Musk promised these products next year, as well as teasing a “very futuristic” robotaxy project that – he explained in a call – aimed at reducing automakers’ self-driving capabilities. Mileage costs below subsidized public transit.

But don’t expect the robotaxi to be 800V.

“For the 3 / Y platform, where we keep everything running, the advantage is undoubtedly small,” Baglino added, adding with Musk chiming that “it’s basically zero for robotaxis.”

Other automakers who do not have to count on the “legacy cost” of upgrading the Tesla supercharger network may come to some different conclusions.

Tesla Supercharger Station V3, Las Vegas

Tesla Supercharger Station V3, Las Vegas

Baglino’s explanation জন্য for investors was almost entirely focused on car costs, not on efficiency. Meanwhile, rival EV maker Lucid underscored the efficiency (both in terms of power and packaging) that drove his choice to more than 900 volts, along with performance benefits as a result of that fundamental decision. As Porsche found with its Tycoon, sourcing a complete system of components to make the most of that 800-volt potential can be particularly challenging – part of the reason Lucid turned to a complete suite of in-house core components.

An 800-volt pack layout will allow for faster charging. Prior to the supercharger V3 technology, Musk seemed to be teasing that possibility with the idea of ​​charging 350-kW in 2016, when he Tweet: “A mere 350 kilowatts … Are you referring to a mere children’s toy?”

Most executives agree that high-voltage systems are the future, especially for larger vehicles and performance models. In early September 2020, supplier Delphi confirmed an extensive transition to the 800V system for luxury EVs by 2025.

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