CATL kicks off Qilin battery production

Chinese battery manufacturer CATL has started mass production of its Qilin battery, according to Chinese media. This is the third generation of CATL’s cell-to-pack battery technology, which was unveiled in June 2022.

The first model to use the new Qilin battery is the Zeekr 009 electric van, which is scheduled to begin deliveries with the Qilin battery in the second quarter of 2023. Series production of the vehicle has been underway since mid-January, but since then only 009s have been built with the 116 kWh battery, which still relies on the classic layout with modules. The Qilin battery is only used in the 140 kWh battery in the 009.

It is not known what quantities of the Qilin battery CATL will initially be able to supply to Zeekr and what total volumes have been agreed upon. But it could turn out that Zeekr ordered too few of the Qilin battery packs. For the Chinese reports quote an internal Zeekr source as saying that a “high percentage” of 009 customers opted for the Qilin battery version. “That surprised us,” the source said.

The key data of the Qilin battery was published last summer: The Qilin Battery allows volume utilization to exceed 72 per cent and energy density to reach 255 Wh/kg, easily allowing vehicles to achieve a range of 1000 km. The Chinese portal The Paper now reports that the Qilin battery has an energy content 13 per cent higher than a battery pack with 4680 round cells for the same installation space., (in Chinese)


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