A luxury electric brand run by Chinese giant Geely has announced it will be the first carmaker to use Chinese company CATL’s revolutionary new battery technology.
A new type of battery from Chinese company CATL – which supplies batteries to brands such as Tesla and BMW – will soon make its debut in the 2023 Zeekr 009 people mover, promising up to 1000km of driving on one charge.
Owned by Chinese automotive giant Geely, luxury brand Zeekr will use its 009 people mover to debut a new ‘Qilin’ battery technology from China’s CATL, claimed to enable “in excess of 1000 kilometres” of driving range.
The announcement comes following a five-year agreement between the two companies, with Zeekr the first to utilise the new batteries from CATL – before they spread to other car brands.
Named after a creature from Chinese mythology, CATL’s new Qilin battery technology is said to be a breakthrough for the industry, with a claimed “volume utilisation efficiency” of 72 per cent – 13 per cent more than the new ‘4680’ batteries from Tesla.
For perspective, CATL announced the world’s first “cell to pack” battery in 2019 – where the battery cells are mounted directly into the pack, without fitting into modules in between – which lead the industry at the time with a volume utilisation efficiency of 55 per cent.
While Zeekr says the 009 will begin Chinese deliveries in the first quarter of 2023, the brand is expected to launch in Europe and North America before any decision is made to expand its operations to Australia.
A local launch appears to be under consideration, however, with Geely registering an trademark for the Zeekr name in Australia in December 2021.
The 2023 Zeekr 009 isn’t the first electric vehicle to go on sale with a claimed range of 1000km – the GAC Aion LX Plus SUV went on sale in China earlier this year, with a 1008km driving range based on the country’s more lenient CLTC test cycle.