Chinese battery giant CATL plans to start mass production of an innovative new battery this year. This will be distinguished by a very fast charge, even with very low temperatures such as in winter.
Despite the increase in the number of charging stations, autonomy is still a concern for many motorists. And this even if we know that it is no longer any use to cover very long distances in one go. This does not prevent certain equipment manufacturers from wanting to offer batteries offering incredible autonomy.
Arrival this year
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This is particularly the case with CATL. If you do not yet know the Chinese company, it is nevertheless one of the leaders in the field of electric cars. It supplies batteries to many manufacturers, including BMW and Hyundai, among others. Based in China, the company intends to invade Europe by building its own factories in the territory.
But the Asian firm also wants to offer new, even more advanced technologies, offering greater autonomy and faster charging. This is how the Qilin CTP 3.0 was born, a battery adopting cell-to-pack technology that will notably equip the Zeekr 001. The famous electric car with a range of 1032 km.
But the Chinese firm is working in parallel on another project, which should see the light of day soon, as indicated in an article published by the British press agency Reuters. The latter relays the declarations of Wu Kai, the current chief scientist of the company, who affirms that series production of a completely new battery innovation is envisaged by the end of the year.
10 minutes of charging for 400 km of autonomy
It has not yet revealed its name for the moment, but we know some of its characteristics, and they are rather promising. CATL indeed announces that this accumulator could be recharged in just ten minutes. A record duration at the moment, when it takes a little less than twenty minutes to fill up to 80% the battery of the Kia EV6 and other Hyundai Ioniq 5.
But the company wants to go even further, since the next step is to reduce this time to five or seven minutes, without changing the autonomy. This would be around 400 kilometers, probably according to the Chinese CLTC cycle. Be careful, because the latter is more optimistic than our WLTP, which would drop this value to about 340 kilometers. It may not seem like much, but you have to remember that a big battery with great autonomy is not always relevant.
Above all, a range of 400 km with fast charging makes it possible to cross France without incident, as we have shown on a Paris – Marseille trip.
A cold-resistant battery
Especially since the interest of this battery is not especially there. In fact, its asset is above all its new electrolyte, which makes it possible to offer better efficiency in cold weather. Concretely, this means that charging will be less slow even when temperatures are very low. The autonomy would also decrease less in winter.
According to Reuters, the effectiveness would be 50% higher at -20 degrees compared to a conventional accumulator. This figure is 43% at less extreme temperatures.
It has indeed been proven that winter is problematic for electric cars, because charging is slower when it is cold. Indeed, a battery needs to be at an optimal temperature, around 25 degrees to work well. It’s the same thing in circulation, autonomy melting like snow in the sun in cold weather, especially since heating and accessories increase consumption. Even if all cars are not necessarily housed in the same boat, as proven by a recent Norwegian study.
CATL has been working on the development of very fast charging batteries for a while now. And for good reason, the company announced last year the arrival of a technology allowing to ” charge to 80% in just five minutes“. It is still necessary to find terminals delivering sufficient power, while the most efficient is that of Nio, with its 500 kW.
CATL is not the only one working on this kind of technology, since another Chinese company announces 1,000 km of autonomy and ultra-fast charging in summer and winter. The Chinese giant GAC announces for its part a lifespan of 1.5 million km for its future battery.
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