China’s Largest EV Battery Manufacturer Announces Million Mile Power Pack That Lasts 16 Years

June 14, 2020 by Antonio Anzaldua Jr.

A Chinese battery manufacturer, Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL), located in Nigde, China has developed a power pack that can allow electric vehicles (EV) to travel 1.24 million miles, lasting a total of 16 years.

The most expensive component of an EV is the lithium-ion battery, which might be influencing why  EVs have not surpassed regular gasoline-based vehicles in the market yet.

Another take away from EVs is a potential case of thermal runaway occurring, the most common cause of fires in EVs. Recently, the Chinese government issued three national standards on safety requirements for electronic vehicles and their batteries.

The world’s largest EV battery manufacturer, CATL, has been specializing in manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for EVs, energy storage systems, and battery management systems with safety as a top priority.

They strived to create batteries that go through extensive thermal analysis, reliability verification, heat loss control, and impact and extrusion tests during the design process to ensure safe, durable, lifelong power packs. 

CATL has been investing all its revenue into R&D for advancing in battery technology, and now they are ready to enter a league of their own, by producing an EV battery that can travel 1.24 million miles with a 16-year lifespan.

Impacts on The Electric Vehicle Industry 

Society is reluctant to invest in electric vehicles since there is a limited amount of charging stations. Add that to the growing concerns about batteries losing strength over time and needing to be replaced are holding EVs back from being ideal for consumers. 

Current EV battery warranties claim an approximate 150,000 miles with an 8-year lifespan. CATL is claiming a head-turning 2 million kilometer, 16-year lifespan battery. Extending the battery lifespan is a significant achievement since it could be reused in a second vehicle.

CATL gives credit to its extensive efforts in research and development. They have done so while avoiding the use of cobalt, the exorbitant chemical element found in current EV batteries.

Raw material design involves exploring materials at a nanolevel conducting crystal structure, thermodynamic, and electrolyte analysis. This allows CATL to design batteries that improve system performance, enable higher energy density, and establish a faster charge-discharge rate. 

CATL li-ion battery applications.

The CATL li-ion battery can be applied to electric passenger vehicles, buses, and trucks. Image used courtesy of CATL


CATL Battery Customers

CATL electric batteries are being supplied to Tesla, BMW, and Volkswagen AG, and according to Chairman Zeng Yuqun, CATL is ready to produce these highly-anticipated batteries. “If someone places an order, we are ready to produce. It would only cost us 10% more than the batteries in current EVs.”

The CATL batteries are set to be a part of the Tesla Model 3 sedan, and they are expected to be producing over 70% of BMW batteries. CATL does not seem to have a favorite automaker since they plan to provide these batteries to any interested EV producer.

CATL expects to see an increase in electric passenger, busses, trucks, and diversified select vehicles with this new battery advancement. 

From China To The World 

Contemporary Amperex Technology continues to lead the market in lithium-ion battery sales. The development of a power pack that allows drivers to travel over a million miles should certainly secure the top-sales spot for quite some time.

Expect to see Tesla and other competing automakers begin to roll out these million-mile battery packs in 2021, creating an industry landmark that may be enough to sway drivers away from gas-powered vehicles.