About one in two Tesla electric cars is currently produced with a battery pack made from CATL LFP cells, and if the Chinese world leader implements its plans for a large factory in North America, the proportion is likely to rise. However, CATL not only offers relatively robust and inexpensive LFP cells, but also those based on nickel, cobalt, and manganese (NMC). In a filing, the company allegedly contradicted Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s assessment that longer ranges than today are no longer needed for electric cars. And he announced a higher energy density technology than Tesla’s 4680 cells.
CATL wants to surpass Tesla’s concept
His The 4680 format was introduced by Tesla at a battery day in September 2020 and it recently reported making 1 million of them so far, which is only enough for around 1,200 Model Ys, which would need to be equipped first. With the new format and the new production processes, Tesla wants to reduce costs by more than 50 percent. In addition, the huge round 4680 cells will become part of the load-bearing structure of the vehicle and thus ensure weight savings.
However, according to CATL, it is not absolutely necessary to switch to a fundamentally new format for such advances. Reported at a conference in China according to CnEV Post company’s chief scientist on the further development of its own “cell to pack” (CTP) technology. Therefore, batteries are not integrated first into modules and then with several modules into battery packs, but without the intermediate module going into the finished pack. This obviously saves space and weight and so are other electric car and battery manufacturers. According to information from CATL, the CTC is planned next, that is, “cell to chassis” similar to Tesla.
But with the next generation of its CTP technology, CATL wants to outperform Tesla’s 4680 batteries in one important factor, according to its chief scientist: energy density. With the same chemistry and size, the capacity of its own battery system is 13 percent higher than Tesla’s with the 4,680 cells, CnEVPost said. He has not yet given a production schedule, but announced an official presentation for this April.
Higher ranks of target electric cars
Unlike Tesla, CATL also believes that advances in the battery are not only necessary for greater space and weight efficiency, but also for greater range. Tesla CEO Musk stated earlier this month: Hardly anyone needs more than the standard 400 miles currently possible with the Model S. This was contradicted by several customers on Twitter, who indicated that they definitely wanted more reach. CATL’s chief scientist confirmed this impression at the conference: According to his own analysis, customers’ desire for more range remains a trend, he said according to the report. Next year, a 1,000-kilometer battery pack should go into production.
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