CATL Innovates EV Charging Solutions

CATL, the world’s leading battery supplier headquartered in China, has made a groundbreaking announcement regarding lithium-ion battery technology. This development has the potential to significantly enhance the charging efficiency of electric vehicles, especially in cold weather conditions. The breakthrough involves new electrolyte materials that greatly improve battery performance.

According to the company’s chief scientist, Wu Kai, speaking at a forum in Shanghai, CATL’s advancements enable an impressive 50 percent increase in lithium-ion battery efficiency at extremely low temperatures, as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius. Even under normal temperatures, there is a remarkable 43 percent improvement.

But the innovations don’t stop there. CATL has set its sights on producing a battery that can offer an impressive driving range of 248 miles (400 km) with just a 10-minute charge, expected to be available this year. And they’re not stopping at that either; the company is determined to reduce the charging time even further to a range of just five to seven minutes for the same driving distance. This aligns with the efforts of car manufacturers worldwide who are pushing for faster charging times and working on developing solid-state batteries that promise increased power and driving range.

While solid-state batteries show great potential, their current high costs present a significant challenge. CATL, however, has found its niche by concentrating on batteries optimized for winter weather conditions. In cold temperatures, the battery’s electrolyte solution experiences slower reactions, forcing the battery to work harder to heat the electric vehicle. By tackling these challenges head-on, CATL aims to optimize battery performance, even in the harshest weather conditions.

This latest achievement is just one of the many ways CATL has showcased its commitment to battery technology innovation. In June 2022, the company unveiled its third-generation cell-to-pack technology, cleverly named “Qilin” after a mythical creature in Chinese folklore. This technology demonstrated an astonishing range of over 621 miles (1000 km) on a single charge, with a volume utilization efficiency of 72 percent and an impressive energy density of up to 416 kilojoules per pound (255 Wh/kg), setting new global benchmarks for integration levels.

Collaborating with EVE Energy, CATL announced plans in September 2022 to establish gigafactories in China and Europe. These factories, with an annual capacity of 20 GWh each, aim to produce batteries for BMW’s NEUE KLASSE (New Class) electric vehicle models. The cylindrical cells used in these batteries surpassed the 620-mile (1,000 km) benchmark set for electric vehicles, supporting higher voltages of 800V and charging currents of up to 500 amperes. This resulted in a significant 30 percent reduction in charging time when going from a 10-80 percent state of charge.

CATL’s relentless pursuit of innovation in battery technology ensures that electric vehicles are poised for a future of improved charging efficiency, greater driving ranges, and faster charging times. As the industry continues to evolve, CATL remains at the forefront, shaping the landscape of electric mobility for years to come.

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