CATL has set out to revolutionize both the automotive industry and electric aviation, hand in hand with its new condensed batteries. Taking advantage of its presence at the Shanghai Auto Show, the Chinese brand has presented formally this interesting technology. Thanks to her, he assures that he can offer more than twice the energy density offered today by conventional lithium-ion batteries.
According to CATL, the energy density of its condensed batteries reaches 500 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg). This is a huge leap compared to what is currently on offer, as lithium-ion battery cells in widespread use in electric cars are just over 200 Wh/kg. Some more advanced developments, such as Tesla’s 4680 batteries, are estimated to have an energy density of 244 Wh/kg.
But what is truly interesting is that the new CATL development far exceeds the energy density promised by the expected semi-solid battery developed by NIO together with WeLion. The latter offers 360 Wh/kg in its 150 kWh storage version, which would allow an estimated autonomy of around 1,000 kilometers in cars such as the NIO ET5 and ET7.
Condensed batteries for electric cars They will begin to be mass-produced this year., says CATL. While its commercialization would begin in 2024, although for now the Chinese company has avoided talking about prices. This means that, for now, the production costs and the final figures that must be paid to access this technology in future electric vehicles are unknown. Although we can get the idea that they will not be cheap.
CATL wants to revolutionize electric mobility (by land and air) with its new condensed batteries
An important point to keep in mind is that CATL’s idea is not just to put its condensed batteries in future electric cars. In fact, the Asian company has explained that the primary focus of this development is its implementation. in passenger planes. However, it is still unknown in what type of aircraft it could be used, nor since when.
To achieve an energy density of 500 Wh/kg, the developers have created what has been defined as “an adaptive structure at the micrometer scale and in the form of a mesh”. It is responsible for regulating the forces of interaction between electrochemical reactions, according to Wu Kai, CATL’s chief scientist. But this is not all, since a high energy cathode has also been implemented, a new type of anode and special films dedicated to thermal insulation have been developed.
CATL ensures that its new condensed batteries have been created following aerospace guidelines and standards. Something that is certainly not surprising, considering the desire to implement them in the field of civil aviation. Although it is also intended to demonstrate that implementing accumulators with double or more the energy density of most current lithium-ion batteries It is safe.
Of course there are still some unanswered questions regarding the performance of condensed batteries. Especially regarding How much will the autonomy of the vehicles that use them benefit?. There is already speculation that from 2024 we can see electric cars with twice the autonomy of those that use conventional batteries. Although it is not yet clear whether multiplying the energy density by two necessarily means that the kilometers to be traveled on a charge are doubled. At least under this new technology.
What is clear is that CATL is up to something serious with its condensed batteries. A development that could be the key to the next electric mobility revolution; both by land and by air.