Ford is among the mainstream automakers whose EVs have a 400-volt architecture, and it has never publicly announced plans to launch 800-volt electric models. However, according to a patent filed by the Blue Oval almost four years ago, it is working on a multi-voltage system capable of operating at 800 volts, at least during charging.

The patent also mentions two separate battery arrays that would be charged by the multi-voltage charging system. To us, that sounds like a similar solution to what the GMC Hummer EV has: a split battery pack—literally two separate 400-volt packs that are connected in parallel under normal operation and are hooked together in series for charging to boost the voltage to 800 volts.

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The quickest-charging EVs run on 800 volts or more

By going 800-volt, EVs can charge quicker than their 400-volt counterparts and it also allows for some of the internal components to be made smaller and run a bit cooler.

The fact that Ford calls this solution “multi-voltage” and that it defines two separate charging conditions in the patent further strengthens the idea that it won’t be a completely new pure EV 800-volt architecture but rather a way to raise the voltage to speed up DC fast charging.

Ford’s current EVs aren’t the quickest charging on the market. The Mustang Mach-E with the standard-range 70 kWh battery will only charge at up to 110 kW DC, while the extended-range model with its 91 kWh pack bumps it up to 150+ kW, the same as the F-150 Lightning. The big-battery Mach-E can go from a 20 to 80 percent state of charge in 30 minutes and add 60 miles of range in around 10 minutes, which is quite average.

One of the Mach-E’s direct rivals, the 800-volt Hyundai Ioniq 5, tops out at about 240 kW when hooked up to a powerful enough DC fast charger, and it goes from 10 to 80 percent in under 20 minutes. The 900-volt Lucid Air sedan, which has the highest voltage of any EV on sale today, is an absolute beast when it comes to charging, with a maximum rate of 300 kW, and its 20 to 80 percent charging time is around the 15-minute mark.

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So since this patent is a few years old and only now made public, we can infer a couple of things. Firstly, Ford has been working on this multi-voltage solution for a while, and its introduction might be just around the corner. Another possibility is that it sounds like something it could implement in existing models without completely reengineering them or requiring a new platform, so we could see an upgraded Mach-E and Lightning with faster charging.

Mercedes is also reportedly upgrading its larger EQ electric models from 400 to 800 volts in 2025, and it could adopt a similar approach to the one in the Ford patent. With this voltage increase, the Three-Pointed Star’s EVs will be able to charge at more than 200 kW, and you can expect a similar increase from Ford's EVs.

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