CALT announces a revolutionary battery that allows for an extended range of up to 1000 km and ultra-fast recharge in just 10 minutes. Let’s see how the Chinese giant manages to come and chat with Tesla and its 4680 batteries.
In May 2022, CATL announced an agreement with BMW to supply cylindrical lithium batteries. Then we learned that the Chinese company is actively preparing the formalization of the next generation of batteries, called Qilin CTP 3.0. We had very little information on this, except that this new generation will be more efficient than the current one and also than Tesla’s new 4680. The Chinese battery giant has finally formalized its new battery architecture, and at least we can say that the evolution is very important compared to the modules currently used in electric vehicles.
1000 km run on one charge
Qilin, its little name (which refers to an animal from Chinese mythology), promises to improve performance across the board: energy density, cooling, and therefore power. CTP means Cell To Packthat is, a module-free design: the cells are directly integrated into the frame.
So CATL declares 1000 km range and 10 minutes quick charge to fill the battery from 10 to 80%. Impressive numbers compared to the current range of electric vehicles, which is about 700 km (according to the Chinese CLTC cycle) at a power of 100 kWh, like the Nio ET5. Therefore, in the WLTP cycle, we should expect a range of 750 to 800 km for this third battery generation.
10 minutes to recharge the battery
For a fast charge, 10 minutes is really impressive, as the fastest time in the same exercise is 18 minutes for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 thanks to its 800-volt architecture. However, it will be difficult to achieve 10 minutes in practice, not because of the battery, but because of the charging architecture currently used in Europe.
The battery will need very high charging power, as recharging a 100 kWh battery from 10 to 80% on a 350 kW terminal (the maximum currently found, especially on the Ionity) will take 12 minutes, given that the power is not reduced during the exercise. CATL indicates in this regard that the battery has a charge rate of 4C, capable of charging at an average power of 400 kW for a battery with a capacity of 100 kWh. Therefore, we assume that 10 minutes of charging requires much more power than the 350 kW currently available in Europe.
Impressive Bulk Density
To achieve these results, CATL goes into detail. The cooling system has been completely redesigned.to quadruple the area cooled by the liquid cooling system. Energy density (160 Wh/kg in LFP and 255 Wh/kg in NMC) is on the rise with a new packaging layout to claim a 72% volumetric efficiency. This means that 72% of the volume of the battery is made up of cells, while the rest is passive material necessary for the proper functioning of the battery, such as the cooling system.
CATL compares its battery to 4680 systems (particularly those developed by Tesla), pointing out that the latter will have a volumetric efficiency of 63%. This allows the Chinese company to promote the capabilities of Qilin batteries to offer 13% more power in a battery of the same size than the competition. The Chinese company does not directly quote Tesla, and therefore it is not known whether the comparison takes into account the fact that the American company uses the same technology as CATL on Qilin, namely the structure without a module, which just allows you to increase energy density. batteries.
See you in 2023
Mass production of Qilin batteries from CATL is scheduled for 2023. So we should find them at the end of next year or even 2024 in electric vehicles.. Enough to allow manufacturers to step up their game by releasing even more autonomous electric vehicles and even faster fast charging.
The coming years should be rich in battery innovation as every manufacturer in the world – or almost – is investing a package in R&D related to electrifying their ranges. Therefore, we expect a lot from semi-solid batteries, which allow Nio to announce 1000 km of battery life at 150 kWh, as well as from solid batteries, planned for the end of the decade.
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