Why does BYD, always one step behind others, always like to hide it?

Some time ago, all major car companies were showing off their license plates.

It’s not this kind of car license plate

What car companies are rushing to issue is not ordinary motor vehicle license plates, but L3 autonomous driving test licenses.

The first official announcement was from BMW, and then Mercedes-Benz came with good news. In the next few days, car companies such as Zhiji, Changan, Jihu, Deep Blue, and Avita also announced the good news one after another, not letting anyone go. An opportunity to “show off”.

At this time, one brand was confused, and that was BYD. Their inner monologue was probably like this:

ah? Is this also going to be posted on Moments?

As a result, BYD Auto, which was belatedly aware of the situation, hastily issued a press release with the title : "BYD obtains the country's first L3 autonomous driving test license."

Um? National debut? Looking at the issuance time, it was July 21st, which was already half a year ago. This makes people doubt that if no one came up with this idea and the topic was not hot enough, BYD might not have thought of releasing this thing.

The main thing is to stay aloof from the world?

BYD seems to have never been very concerned about the dissemination of new technologies. Even its own chairman was quoted out of context on major platforms and did not make any response. Many people only know that Wang Chuanfu criticized "autonomous driving is nonsense", but they don't know that it is also followed by "Advanced assisted driving is real."

In fact, not only the self-driving license plate, BYD also missed one very important thing.

In September 2022, Xiaopeng announced that its flagship SUV model G9 has become the first ultra-fast charging model in China based on the 800V high-voltage SiC platform. The peak charging power can reach about 430kW, and the slogan "Charging in 5 minutes, 200 kilometers of range" has made The entire industry was shocked.

More importantly, even when charging at a third-party charging pile (national standard maximum current 250A), the power can be close to 180kW, which is basically twice that of other 400V models, and the charging time is greatly shortened. For a time, the Xpeng G9 was unparalleled, and "800V" became a key word for new cars.

As the marketing efforts of various brands continue to upgrade, "800V" seems to have become a "far ahead" technology. What is little known is that as early as 2015, there were passenger cars using the 800V high-voltage platform. First of all, It was BYD that put this technology into cars.

The past and present life of 800V

When BYD launched the first-generation DM hybrid system in 2008, it only had the word "energy saving" in mind. The weak power performance was unacceptable to many consumers. When the power was sufficient, the total system power was only about 80kW.

Because of this, the second-generation DM hybrid system moves towards another concept – performance.

In 2015, the first-generation BYD Tang DM was released. This car had a very obvious feature: the two front doors had the "542" logo on it. At that time, BYD had just begun to implement the "542" strategy. Tang DM was the first product born under this strategy. The three numbers "5", "4" and "2" respectively represented "acceleration from 100 kilometers in 5 seconds", " Full-time electric four-wheel drive" and "2 liters of fuel consumption per 100 kilometers."

In order to achieve the goal, BYD launched the industry's first 800V high-voltage platform for passenger cars at that time. The 2015 Tang DM has a rated voltage of 712V and a charging termination voltage of 820V. The Qin EV launched at the same time also has a rated voltage of 633.6V. The termination voltage is 752.4V.

Some people may be confused. The rated voltage of both cars does not exceed 800V. How can they be regarded as 800V high-voltage platforms? In fact, the high voltage range of the entire vehicle electrical system is between 550V and 930V, which can be called an 800V high voltage system.

Gu Jie, head of Xpeng Motors' powertrain, once said, "800V is a rhetoric. Anything over 450V is considered to be in the 800V realm. The key to measurement is efficiency."

But as the "first person to eat crabs", BYD inevitably encountered problems, the biggest bottleneck of which was charging. Although high-voltage models have greatly increased the charging power of electric vehicles, in 2015 when the new energy market has not yet been activated, "there are 800V vehicles but no 800V piles" is an unavoidable problem.

In 2015, 95% of domestic public DC piles were low-voltage piles below 500V, only 4% were 750V, and only 1% were 1000V (including 950V).

Ling Heping, deputy director of BYD Automobile Factory Research Institute, told the Dongqi Auto Conference that at that time, in order to solve this key problem, BYD developed boost charging technology to achieve vehicle pile compatibility.

From 2015 to 2022, BYD's boost charging technology has gone through three iterations:

  • The first DC boost charging in 2015, with boost power exceeding 60kW
  • The first electric drive boost charging in 2020, with boost power exceeding 100kW
  • Oil-cooled electric drive boost charging will be released in 2022, with boost power exceeding 120kW

With the iteration of technology, domestic charging conditions have also undergone earth-shaking changes. With the 800V high-voltage platform, the domestic high-voltage charging infrastructure has also begun to accelerate its popularity.

According to statistics, in 2016, 750V high-voltage DC piles accounted for only 14% of the newly built piles that year, but by 2017, this figure soared to 45%, and significantly surpassed 500V DC piles in 2018, accounting for more than 82% . Today, the overall proportion of high-voltage charging piles exceeding 750V has exceeded 88%, becoming the mainstream of the market.

Now that the voltage problem has been solved, what else is limiting our charging?

P=UI

In the 18th century, a British man named James Watt first proposed the power formula: P=UI, that is, power = voltage * current.

Do you remember this formula? If you want to increase the power, you only need to increase the voltage and current. Now that we have entered the "high-voltage era", wouldn't it be enough to increase the current?

Of course it won't be that simple.

Let the data speak as well. At present, the maximum charging current of a single gun of mainstream DC charging piles is between 250A and 300A (including 250A), accounting for 67%. There are only a pitiful 2% of charging piles with a single gun current of more than 300A.

Due to current limitations, 70% of DC charging piles currently on the market have a peak power between 100kW and 200kW, and only 10% of DC charging piles have a peak power of more than 200kW.

In addition, the construction of DC supercharging piles is strictly subject to the capacity of the power grid.

For example, a school located on the eastern coast with more than 3,000 students applies for 600kVA capacity. Based on an estimate of 80% efficiency, it can only support one 480kW 800V supercharger.

If the capacitance is not enough, even if there is a supercharging station, it will not be of much use. Take the Xpeng S4 supercharging pile as an example. This pile is a high-pressure liquid-cooled supercharging pile with a maximum charging capacity of 480kW/670A. However, due to the capacity of the power grid, the Xiaopeng demonstration station can only use the maximum charging power of the 800V model when charging a single vehicle. During peak periods, power diversion will occur if multiple vehicles are charged at the same time.

At this time, BYD came up with a solution that no one expected-dual gun charging. If one gun doesn't work, I'll use two.

Take the Denza N7 that supports dual-gun charging as an example. Its maximum power reaches 230kW under dual-gun overcharging, which can charge for 15 minutes and have a range of 350 kilometers.

In Ling Heping's view, dual-gun charging is also a charging method that is more "in line with national conditions".

Rather than looking far away to find a supercharger, why not use a charging pile at your doorstep?

Anyone with wheels is interested and welcome to communicate. Email: [email protected]

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