The Chinese battery manufacturer CATL, one of the world leaders in the segment, presented a new generation of battery. It would offer a range of over 1,000 km, could be recharged “in the blink of an eye” and its production and marketing are planned for 2023.
This battery called Qilin sets a new record in terms of volume use since, according to CATL, at least 72% of the pack is made up of cells. It is the third generation of this technology that does without a module and the first, released in 2019, offered 50% of it. CATL gives some additional figures for energy density, with 255 Wh/kg for nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) cells and 160 Wh/kg for lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP).
According to the equipment manufacturer, this has been made possible by a new construction method: the inner reinforcement bar of the pack, the plate for the liquid cooling and the insulation pads are brought together in a single intermediate layer bringing together the three functions. . Other components, such as the high-voltage connector or the vent to prevent thermal runaway, have been redesigned, which alone improves capacity by 6%.
Batteries: CATL wants to produce the equivalent of 230 GWh in 2021
The Chinese company presents the design of liquid cooling as “disruptive”: circulating between each neighboring cell, it would quadruple its efficiency, even in “extreme circumstances”, which not only should improve safety, but also allow charging at higher powers, CATL announcing 10 minutes to go from 10 to 80% charge.
This type of construction without cell module also offers greater simplicity, making it possible to reduce the quantity of cables and would make its assembly easier and therefore less expensive. By reducing the amount of “passive” material that is the module packaging, this leaves room for additional “active” material in a similar total volume, which ultimately improves energy density with cells identical.
CATL has not named a potential customer for these new batteries, but the first could be Tesla, to whom it already supplies LFPs for the Model 3 and Model Y. The current energy density of those fitted to the two American cars is 125 Wh. /kg and increasing it to 160 Wh/kg would increase it by 28% accordingly.