New EV Battery Boasts 1,000km Range

A new battery from Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd promises to resolve one of the chief complaints that drivers have with electric vehicles: battery range.

The next-generation Qilin battery—named after a Chinese mythical creature that appears with the imminent arrival or passing of a sage or respected leader—has a range of more than 620 miles in a single charge, and is 13% more powerful than the next battery Teslas will use. It charges faster than existing cells, and it is also safer and more durable, CATL boasts.

CATL will begin manufacturing its new battery, with an energy density of up to 255 watt-hours per kilogram, next year.

CATL, the world’s largest EV battery maker, said it had raised $6.7 billion in private placement of shares that it will use for R&D, battery production, and battery manufacturing upgrades.

Global EV sales broke all records last year and continued their strong performance in the first quarter of 2022, mostly thanks to sustained policy support in many markets, with overall public spending on subsidies and incentives doubling in 2021 to nearly $30 billion, the IEA said in its Global EV Outlook 2022 published last month, but soaring prices of critical minerals and supply chain bottlenecks are the greatest obstacles to a continued surge in EV sales in the short term.

But other obstacles for EVs include a fair amount of resistance from car buyers over EV battery range, a lack of charging points, the high cost of EVs, and the limited selection available in the marketplace.

On the cost front, the recent surge in the cost of battery metals has grown worse over the last year, with the price of lithium more than doubling. But improving the battery range is a significant positive step forward for the segment.

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