When it comes to innovation in the field of electric-vehicle batteries, Chinese companies are at the forefront. The latest example is CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited), which has unveiled an LFP battery that promises to recharge 400 km in just 10 minutes. As revolutionary as this announcement is, it raises questions and doubts about its feasibility and impact on the industry.
The concept of ultra-fast charging is certainly appealing, but CATL has yet to provide all the details needed to assess its viability in real-world conditions. The company has not disclosed the specifications of the charging station or the power used to achieve this feat. It is therefore premature to conclude that all electric vehicle models will indeed be able to recover 400 km of range in 10 minutes.
There is also the issue of Chinese CLTC certification. The testing standards may be less stringent than international standards such as WLTP, which could potentially distort advertised performance. For example, the ability to recover 400 kilometres in 10 minutes may not be achievable under more standardized conditions.
In terms of weight, increased energy density could lead to smaller, lighter batteries, which could have a positive impact on the overall weight of electric vehicles. However, the actual market impact of this improvement remains to be seen.
The announcement of this ultra-fast charging battery is sure to excite electric car enthusiasts. Indeed, one of the biggest barriers to widespread adoption of electric vehicles is charging time. The ability to recover 400 kilometres of range in just 10 minutes would largely eliminate this concern, paving the way for more convenient and accessible long-distance travel.
Another big question is which vehicles will benefit from this technology. Will CATL prioritize Chinese automakers for its battery supplies, or will other major players such as Tesla also have access to this revolutionary technology? CATL’s commercialization plans begin in 2023, with an expected launch in early 2024.
In addition to fast charging, CATL’s Shenxing battery has other notable advantages. As an LFP battery, it avoids the use of cobalt in its composition, which not only benefits the environment, but also reduces production costs compared to traditional NMC batteries. What’s more, the promise of less degradation over time is a major benefit for electric vehicle owners in the long run.
If CATL’s Shenxing battery can deliver on its promise, it could be a real catalyst for the mass adoption of electric vehicles. However, until more information is available and concrete tests are conducted, it is wise to remain optimistic while keeping a critical eye on this electrifying breakthrough in the electric vehicle battery industry.