The next-generation battery from CATL, a prominent producer of EV batteries in the globe with a 621-mile range, will be unveiled in the first few months of 2019.
Two Zeekr models, a Chinese brand that is not yet sold in the United States, will have the batteries fitted.
The Lucid Air (520 miles) and the Tesla Model S, which now dominate the U.S. market in battery range, can only go a combined total of 621 miles (or 1,000 kilometres) on a single charge (405 miles).
Range anxiety may become extinct in the not too distant future, which is not too far-fetched to think about. For me, the longest distance I’ve ever driven is 621 miles, from my house in Columbus, Ohio, to the Iowan hamlet where I grew up.
Matt Degen, an editor and automotive reviewer for Kelley Blue Book, said: “If you can buy a car with 500, 600 miles of range, boy that leaves a lot of room for comfort” in not having to worry about getting gasoline.
If you can charge overnight, I personally like the thought of waking up every morning to a full tank, he added.
He claimed that it is still too early to predict how well the new CATL battery will perform, but there is no denying that EV ranges are growing exponentially. He cited the recent news that Stellantis, the parent company of Jeep and Chrysler, had acquired a plant in Massachusetts for the production of solid-state batteries, a technology that could result in a significant reduction in charging time and an expansion in operating range.
Ranges across the price spectrum should expand as battery technology advances. For instance, the compact SUV 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV, with a price of around $30,000 and a range of roughly 300 miles, will go on sale in about a year.
The announcement of a model with a range of more than 600 miles is not exclusive to Zeekr. Senior car analyst for BloombergNEF Steve Man added two more, both from Chinese manufacturers:
The 625-mile range of the GAC Aion LX Plus, a small SUV that entered the Chinese market in January. Nio, a car manufacturer, also stated that a future model of their ET7 sedan, which is offered in China, will have a range of roughly 620 miles.
There seems to be a recurring theme in this article about how China can convincingly argue that it is currently the hub of innovation for electric vehicles and is well-positioned to dominate the automotive industry in the near future.
Last year, Geely Automobile Holdings of China launched the Zeekr brand. Volvo, Lotus, and other well-known automobile brands that are mostly sold in China, including Geely Auto, are all owned by Geely.
Prices for the Zeekr vehicles that will use the new battery have not been released, although the company’s current Zeekr 001, a small SUV, is currently available for roughly $57,000. A new model, the 009 minivan, as well as an improved version of the 001 will both be sold with the new battery.
On August 27, CATL and Zeekr jointly announced that they would be utilising the new battery.
According to Robin Zeng, founder and chairman of CATL, “We are committed to allowing manufacturers to establish worldwide high-end automobile brands with leading EV battery technologies and solutions, thereby facilitating global e-mobility transition.”
Along with other battery manufacturing giants like LG of South Korea and Panasonic of Japan, CATL, short for Contemporary Amperex Technology Company, is based in China and is a major player in the global switch to electric vehicles. Due to its tight ties to the Chinese government, CATL, which was founded in 2011, has expanded quickly alongside the Chinese EV market. Among its clients have been Volkswagen, Tesla, and BMW.
Although CATL doesn’t currently have a facility there, it has been attempting to establish one. According to Reuters, CATL has been looking at locations in South Carolina and Kentucky for a plant that would produce batteries for EVs made by Ford and BMW.