CATL announced on April 16 that Chinese vehicle brand Chery will be the first to adopt its Na-ion battery. Around the same time, Chery also announced that it will be collaborating with CATL to promote a branded Na-ion battery series known as ENER-Q. Additionally, both parties will jointly develop various types of batteries including Na-ion batteries, LFP batteries, and M3P batteries. Their solutions are expected to be incorporated into Chery’s mass-produced vehicle models such as the iCAR 03.
For ENER-Q, CATL and Chery put the emphasis on cost-to-performance ratio. The battery can operate in low-temperature environments as cold as minus 30 degrees Celsius and features a mechanism for constant self-monitoring. Furthermore, it service life and range respectively come to eight years and 800,000 kilometers.
CATL has been working on Na-ion battery for quite a while and introduced the first generation of its Na-ion battery in 2021. The first-generation solution had a maximum energy density of 160 watt-hours per kilogram. This was the highest level achieved by this battery technology at that time. Moreover, at the regular room temperature, it could be filled up to above the 80% level with just 15 minutes of charging. Furthermore, it maintained a discharge retention rate of more than 90% even with the outside temperature dipping to minus 20 degrees Celsius. As part of an integrated traction system, the first-generation solution also had an operating efficiency rate of over 80%. At the launching of the first generation, CATL said the second generation that it was developing would surpass 200 watt-hours per kilogram in energy density.
The partnership between CATL and Chery began to take shape in late 2022. In December of that year, CATL and Chery signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement. According to this agreement, the two parties will work together in areas of product development, business development, marketing, and market intelligence.
Regarding their collaborations on batteries that power electric transportation vehicles, both parties are not simply focusing on passenger vehicles. They are seeking to create an integrated new energy system and a battery swapping system that can be applied to electric buses, electric trucks, electric logistic vehicles, public transportation systems, and even electric watercrafts. Together, they are generating the momentum for high-quality development across the battery industry chain.
Furthermore, in December 2022, CATL’s wholly-owned subsidiary Wending Investment acquired a 3.73% stake in Chery. With this deal, Wending Investment became Chery’s seventh largest shareholder.
2023 Is Inaugural Year for Mass Production of Na-Ion Batteries
Besides CATL, several other Chinese companies from different sections of the battery industry chain have also recently announced significant breakthroughs in the development of their Na-ion batteries. At an investor conference held on March 10 of this year, DFD, a Chinese supplier for battery materials, revealed that its Na-ion battery is being tested by several carmakers. DFD actually unveiled the first generation of its Na-ion battery featuring “an oxide layer” in 2022. The company will unveil the second generation of this product and another Na-ion battery featuring “an anionic polymer electrolyte” within this year.
Earlier on February 23 of this year, JAC Group and HiNa Battery introduced their first jointly-developed concept car that is powered by Na-ion batteries. The battery adopted for this vehicle has a capacity of 25 kilowatt-hours and a rapid charging time of 15-20 minutes. The vehicle itself has a single-charge range of 252 kilometers. The unveiling of the vehicle took place at China’s second annual national conference on the development of Na-ion batteries.
Then, on February 28, battery supplier Farasis Energy said it had received a letter of intent from carmaker JMCG (JMEV). According to the letter, JMCG will procure Farasis’s Na-ion batteries for powering its electric model EV3. JMCG requested Farasis to begin the production of the battery for the EV3 before June 30 of this year. On the whole, many Chinese companies including HiNa Battery, Huayang Group, Great Power, Sunwoda, and Malion have stated that they will acquire the capability to mass produce Na-ion batteries within these years.
This article is a translation of a Chinese article posted by TrendForce. It contains information that is either sourced from other news outlets or accessible in the public domain. Some Chinese names are transcribed into English using Hanyu Pinyin.