"The transition to electric vehicles is accelerating, with a rise in market
share and advances in technology. In the accompanying blizzard of reports and
corporate statements, some potentially huge developments can pass with little
notice or explanation.
Here’s one: CATL, the China-based company that is the world’s leading
manufacturer of EV batteries, provided details last month on a next-generation
battery that will have an energy density of up to 500 watt-hours per kilogram,
which is roughly double the energy density of the leading batteries on the
market—a difference that will lead to longer range before needing to recharge.
This will be a “semi-solid state” design, which is one of the reasons it’s able
to pack in so much energy (more on that in a bit).
Usually, when I see an announcement like this, it’s attached to a timetable
that is vague or several years away. So it was notable that a CATL official,
speaking at the Shanghai Auto Show, said this battery would begin mass
production this year.
The company said the battery would be safe enough and have enough energy
density to be able to work in aircraft, in addition to electric cars and
trucks. The company said it is working with partners to develop electric
passenger aircraft and is “practicing aviation-level standards and testing in
accordance with aviation-grade safety and quality requirements.”
CATL, which stands for Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited, has been a
battery supplier for many of the world’s largest automakers, including BMW,
General Motors, Tesla and Volkswagen.
Last year, CATL introduced a new battery with an energy density of up to 255
watt-hours per kilogram and a capability of more than 600 miles of driving
range. The first vehicles that use the battery are now going on sale in China
but are not yet available in the United States. An increase in energy density
means that a battery can go further on a single charge, and it allows for the
possibility of using smaller battery packs without a loss of range."
Via Future Crunch
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics