Chinese Manufacturer Claims ‘Million-Mile’ EV Battery Milestone

Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology (Catl) says it has developed a battery that can power an electric vehicle for more than one million miles, over a period of 16 years.

Catl chairman Zeng Yuqun told Bloomberg said the company was “ready” to produce the “million-mile” batteries.

“If someone places an order, we are ready to produce,” Zheng said.

The battery, which Zheng said could power a vehicle for 2 million kilometers, or 1.2 million miles, contrasts with current packs for which manufacturers offer warranties for 60,000 to 150,000 miles over a three- to eight-year period.

Tesla’s Model 3 sedan. Image credit: Tesla

‘Million-mile’ battery

The battery would cost about 10 percent more than current EV batteries, Zheng said.

Catl did not offer technical details about the battery, but previous reports said it was developed with Tesla.

The company reached an agreement in February to  supply batteries for Tesla Model 3 EVs produced at Tesla’s massive new factory near Shanghai.

Tesla has previously worked primarily with Japan’s Panasonic and South Korea’s LG Chem.

Catl, the world’s biggest EV battery maker, also supplies batteries to car makers including BMW, Daimler, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Batteries are the single costliest component of an electric vehicle.  A longer-lasting unit could be reused in a second vehicle, driving costs down.

Tesla said last year it was planning to produce a million-mile battery, and other car makers including General Motors have said they were working toward the milestone.

Rising demand

Zheng said he expects the coronavirus pandemic to create pent-up demand for EVs, with sales initially slowing but then picking up again early next year.

His remarks add to other indications that the EV market is weathering the pandemic better than petrol-powered vehicles.

Canalys found that European sales of EV and plug-in hybrids grew by 72 percent year-on-year in the first three months of 2020, reaching 7 percent of all new cars.

By contrast, the market for automobiles as a whole saw sales decline by 26 percent during the period.

The government has said it may ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars as early as 2032 in order to help the UK reach zero-emissions targets.

The government is also considering offering drivers up to £6,000 to trade in their existing cars for electric models next month in order to boost the UK’s EV manufacturing industry, the Sunday Telegraph reported over the weekeend.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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