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New EV Battery Unveiled, Bringing Us One Step Closer to 1000 Km of Range

The race to deliver ever-longer range for EV continues apace in the industry. Early on in the EV era, the standard striven for was 200 km; then it was 400, then 600, then 800. For some time now, the figure of 1000 km has been bandied about as the holy grail. And that magic number might just be the one that cures range anxiety once and for all.

If EVs offer 1,000 km of range, even charging station networks may start to cry foul, because anyone with a charging station at home will no longer have much need for a public charging station, except when traveling.

This week, CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd.) unveiled a new-generation battery for electric cars that it claims offers a range of just over 1,000 kilometers per charge. CATL claims that the Qilin, as it’s called, is 13-percent more powerful than the next-gen battery Tesla is currently working on.

For those not familiar with CATL, it is the largest manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles in the world. The company says it will start manufacturing its new generation of batteries next year, and promises it will be safer, more durable and faster to recharge in addition to permitting longer ranges. In concrete terms, it claims recovery of from 10 to 80 percent of full battery charge in only 10 minutes.

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CATL's new Qilin battery
Photo: CATL
CATL's new Qilin battery

The battery, named after an animal from Chinese mythology, has an energy density of up to 255 watt-hours per kilogram, according to CATL.

“It’s an important advancement for CATL as it keeps them at the forefront on the innovation side. Being the lowest cost provider isn’t enough to command loyalty, there needs to be more to it -- and that seems to be the Qilin battery for CATL”

- Tu Le, managing director of Beijing-based consultancy Sino Auto Insights, as reported by Autoblog

On the announcement, CATL's shares climbed 5.9 percent on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, closing at their highest level since Feb. 9.

We’ll see if CATL delivers on the promises made with this announcement, but even if it's not CATL, some other manufacturer will eventually break the barrier to permit 1,000 km ranges from its EV batteries.

CATL says its Qilin battery will be commercially available starting in 2023.