In 2019, CATL introduced its cell to package technology to the world with a volume efficiency of 55%. This week, the company unveiled its new Qilin (formerly known as Kirin) battery pack, which boasts a volume efficiency of 72%. It is said to have an energy density of 255 Wh / kg, which the company says is 13% higher than the energy density of Tesla’s latest 4680 cells. We could go on about the overall goodness of the Qilin battery, but CATL has kindly made a video that explains it all quite nicely.
Qilin is the name of a creature in Chinese mythology, according to a report from Yahoo Finance. The new battery is said to charge faster and travel longer on a single charge than any battery previously produced by CATL. The company claims that cars equipped with the new batteries will be able to drive more than 1000 km on a single charge. (Of course, it depends on the size of the battery pack and the car’s aerodynamic efficiency.)
According to CnEVPost, CATL has quadrupled the heat transfer area by placing the liquid cooling element – typically located at the bottom of the battery cells – between the cells instead. This allows for faster charging times, better thermal control of cell temperatures and faster heating of the battery cells in cold weather for better performance.
The new design supports a quick warm-up of 5 minutes and 80% charging in 10 minutes, says CATL. Under extreme conditions, the cells can cool down rapidly, effectively blocking abnormal heat transfer between cells and reducing the chance of thermal runaway events (fires, for us non-technical types).
In addition, CATL says that the integrated energy package consisting of the battery cell and the multifunctional elastic sandwich layer builds a more stable force structure in the direction perpendicular to the travel direction, which improves the battery pack’s structural strength and impact resistance.
CATL supplies batteries to most of the major automakers both in China and around the world, so it is likely that the Qilin battery packs will find their way into production cars from next year. There are no official words about which companies have signed up to use the new battery packs from CATL at the moment. What is known is that CATL is investigating locations in the United States to build its first battery factory in North America. It is the largest battery supplier in the world and intends to stay there.
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