Geely-owned electric car brand Zeekr says it has become the first marque to commit to using a 1,000km range battery made by Chinese Amperex Technology Limited (CATL).
The 1,000km range battery, dubbed Qilin, uses a cell-to-pack format that CATL – which also supplies batteries to Tesla – says has an energy density of 255Wh/kg, and a “record-breaking” volume utilisation efficiency of 72%.
While the energy density is not quite that of Tesla’s 4680 batteries (expected to deliver around 260Wh/kg according to Enpower), the Qilin battery is also expected to offer hot starts in five minutes, fast-charging in ten minutes, and thermal stability that promises to increase the life and safety of the battery.
The volume utilisation is also a big jump up from CATL’s first cell-to-pack battery in 2019, which scored a 50% utilisation efficiency rate.
The new announcement from Zeekr and CATL forms part of a five year strategic cooperation agreement that will see the battery maker provide Qilin batteries at volume to the brand.
The first Zeekr EV to be fitted with the Qilin battery will be the upcoming 009, an all-electric luxury people mover with an imposing presence on the road that is underlined by its Rolls-Royce inspired “grille.”
Original specifications for the 009 released on China’s Ministry of Industry Information and Technology (MIIT) did not state a battery size, and Chinese media at the time hinted at an expected 700km range.
Now, it would appear this could be considerably more, assuming the 1,000km range in fact refers to real world range. However this is unclear, and since China’s CLTC ratings are somewhat similar to NEDC, it may mean the actual range of the 009 is closer to the 700km figure.
In the second quarter of 2023, the 001 – which rolled off the factory floor for the first time in production-ready format in October 2021 – will also be available with a Qilin battery inside, and known as the “001 Qilin edition.”
It is available in a single 200kW/384Nm motor variant with 100kWh battery, as well as two dual-motor variants both deliver 400kW power output and 768Nm torque with either a 86kWh or 100kWh battery.
While the single-motor variants gets the longest range it is limited to 100km/hr in 6.9 seconds. By contrast, both dual motor variants can complete the 100km/hr sprint in 3.8 seconds.
The Qilin battery differs from CATL’s M3P battery that it is rumoured Tesla will substitute into the Shanghai-made Model Y in the fourth quarter of 2022 – and which it has been reported may be just that – a rumour.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model Y and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.