CATL plans an even more efficient battery than Tesla’s future 4680

The future of the electric car depends on the evolution of the batteries integrated into future models. CATL has just presented a new generation of even more efficient batteries. It will be available from 2023.

The Chinese battery manufacturer CATL presented on June 23, 2022 a new generation of its battery pack for the automotive industry. Its code name is “Qilin” or CTP 3.0 (3rd generation cell-to-pack).

By improving battery life, fast charging, safety, lifespan, efficiency and low temperature performance, this new Qilin battery seems to tick all the boxes. CATL has every intention of supplanting the 4680 batteries, which Tesla is beginning to integrate into its Model Ys, with a range of 1,000 km.

How can Qilin outperform 4680 batteries?

CATL is actively working to find the best solution in terms of battery chemistry, but also efficiency in cell organization. It starts with the shape of the battery cells, optimized to deliver up to 6% more capacity compared to the previous generation of CTP.

CATL Qilin battery. // Source: CATL video capture

The Qilin battery can achieve an energy density of 255 Wh/kg, or 160 Wh/kg on more affordable LFP batteries. With the same chemistry and pack size, it can deliver 13% more power than the 4680 type battery.

To mark the spirits, the manufacturer indicates up to 1,000 km of autonomy for the electric vehicles which would be equipped with it. A psychological milestone that could finally lift the anxiety of the autonomy of motorists who are still reluctant.

Promise of a range of 1,000 km. // Source: CATL screenshot

If the cylindrical shape of the 4680 batteries, operated by Tesla, offers several advantages, the rectangular cells of the Qilin battery allow CATL to multiply by 4 its cooling performance.

The thermal control of the battery pack is not done by a single liquid cooling plate, but by a solution imagined like a sandwich, where the thermal regulation is done between each row. This method should make it possible to limit the risks of thermal runaway of the battery, and thus reduce the risk of fires.

CATL Qilin battery cooling. // Source: CATL video capture

Among the other benefits of this technology, there is the possible increase in fast charging capacities. With better temperature management, the Qilin battery allows powerful charging from 10 to 80% in 10 minutes, without reducing cell life.

What future for CATL batteries?

The name CATL may not mean anything to you, but Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) is nevertheless one of the giants of Chinese battery manufacturing.

To maintain its leading position, the company relies heavily on research and development. It must constantly innovate to keep the advantage over its competitors, such as LG or Panasonic. The company is thus seeking to respond even better to the demand of car manufacturers, but also of end customers with cars promising greater autonomy and fast recharging.

New CATL Qilin battery. // Source: CATL video capture

Car manufacturers must now multiply battery suppliers to meet the growing demand for electric cars. CATL already supplies several automobile groups (Hyundai, BMW, Tesla, Volkswagen, Stellantis). New alliances have also emerged with the latest technological developments offered by the manufacturer.

CATL has announced that this new generation of battery can be marketed from 2023. It is not yet known which manufacturers could be interested in this promising technology.

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