On June 23, China’s leading battery manufacturer CATL unveiled a new EV battery—the CPT 3.0 “Qilin”—claiming to have ultra-high energy density with a range of >1,000 km on single charge.
CATL’s Qilin battery features a whole-new design and manufacturing process; the battery is not only compatible with two types of cathode materials but, most importantly, boasts largely enhanced energy density.
According to the data revealed by the manufacturer, the energy density of the Qilin variant based on ternary cathode materials (nickel, cobalt, manganese; NCM) can be as high as 255 Wh/kg, while that of its LFP-based counterpart can be up to 160 Wh/kg. Theoretically speaking, the new battery pack delivers longer range for EVs, but the company did not mention exactly which vehicle can make a 1,000-km trip on a single charge.
Qilin has nearly the same energy density as Tesla’s battery. However, on the premise of identical raw materials and size setting, Qilin can deliver 13% more power than Tesla’s new 4680 battery.
Such an advantage comes from Qilin’s reconstructed space, to which CATL applied a new multi-functional elastic sandwich that integrates the battery box, cold plate and thermal pad. The spatial reconstruction saves a 6% additional space plus improved anti-vibration and anti-collision abilities.
The cooling area of Qilin has been expanded by 4 times for each cell, thereby cutting the time for cell regulation by half and enabling a 5-minute rapid hot start as well as 10-minute fast charge.
CATL is currently the world’s top manufacturer of automotive lithium batteries. The company captured a 35% market share in 1Q22, which was nearly 20% more than that of LG Chem. In 2021, the Chinese-made lithium batteries that were actually installed in EVs totaled a capacity of 154.5 GWh—up 142.8% from 2020—securing more than 50% of global battery installation. In 2022, Chinese manufacturers have already installed 83.1 GWh of EV batteries between January and May, a 100.8% increase from the year before.
As the number of EVs has continually escalated, critical components such as lithium batteries and battery metals have become the new oil. The Qilin battery pack is scheduled for mass production and installation in 2023, where it will face off Tesla’s 4680 battery.
(Photo credit: CATL)