CATL, the Chinese battery manufacturer and a major supplier to Tesla, recently unveiled its latest innovation, which promises to address the charging and range limits of electric vehicles. Gao Han, chief technical officer of CATL’s e-car division, said at a launch briefing on Wednesday that the battery, named Shenxing or “god-like movement,” can replenish up to 400 kilometers (250 miles) of range in 10 minutes.
That implies Shenxing-powered vehicles can go from New York to Boston (approximately 215 miles) in just 10 minutes of quick charging. The battery’s mass manufacturing is planned to commence by the end of 2023, with shipping beginning in 2024.
Shenxing bills itself as “the world’s first 4C superfast charging LFP battery.”LFP is an abbreviation for lithium iron phosphate, a type of battery chemistry that Tesla will begin using in its shorter-range vehicles in 2021 in place of nickel-cobalt-aluminum.
According to research firm SNE, China is a huge proponent of LFP, a technology pushed by its renewable energy darling CATL, which led the worldwide EV battery market with a 35% share in Q1. This type of battery is noted for its low cost and chemical stability, but it has a lower energy density than other battery chemistries, limiting the range of EVs.
CATL’s exceptional expansion has been fueled in recent years by China’s EV boom. However, the EV business is slowing as government subsidies are reduced and consumption falls in the aftermath of the COVID economic collapse. Meanwhile, the Fujian-based battery producers face stiff competition from BYD, the Chinese EV behemoth that also manufactures its own batteries. BYD trailed CATL in second position in Q1 with a 16.2% share of the worldwide EV battery market.