Five years ago, few had heard of CATL. Today … well … few outside of EV enthusiast circles have heard of CATL, but a large portion of EV enthusiasts are familiar with CATL. It’s the largest EV battery producer in the world. The Chinese company supplies everyone from Tesla to Ford to Volkswagen to BMW, and dozens of other automakers.
CATL has some new batteries coming out, and the first of them will go into Zeekr vehicles. The new Qilin battery packs are very efficient, can charge super fast, and cool down quickly. As for Zeekr, it is a new luxury EV brand owned by Geely. “ZEEKR 009 will be the world’s first car with Qilin inside, and ZEEKR 001 will be the world’s first model equipped with Qilin batteries of 1,000 km range,” CATL and Zeekr have announced. They have commenced a 5-year partnership.
“The Qilin batteries are based on CATL’s third-generation CTP technology. With a record-breaking volume utilization efficiency of 72% and an energy density of up to 255 Wh/kg, it achieves the highest system integration level worldwide so far, capable of delivering a range of over 1,000 km. Moreover, by adopting the trail-blazing large-surface cell cooling technology, Qilin supports a hot start in 5 minutes and fast charging in 10 minutes. With the same chemical system and the same pack size, it can deliver 13% more power than the 4680 battery, accomplishing an all-round improvement in range, fast-charging, safety, service life, efficiency and low-temperature performance.”
That’s right — CATL is boasting that it has developed better battery cells and battery packs than Tesla has developed. That’s the argument.
Zeekr 09 deliveries begin in the first quarter of 2023, while the Zeekr 001 Qilin edition’s deliveries will begin in the second quarter of 2023.
Geely launched Zeekr, a premium electric car brand, just in early 2021. It quickly came out with its first model. See “Meet The Zeekr 001: Model X Specs At Half The Price & Coming Soon To The US.” The Zeekr 001 is a stunner, and its high performance specs are no doubt thanks in good part to the batteries CATL has been developing. “The Zeekr 001 can scoot to 60 mph in under 4 seconds and reach a top speed of 124 miles per hour. Using a high power DC fast charger, it can replenish the battery from 10% SOC to 80% SOC in just 30 minutes.” If you think this car will cost over $100,000, think again. The starting price for the Zeekr 001 will reportedly be $46,000, and the highest-trim option with 436 miles (700 km) of range costs just $56,000. Deliveris of the Zeekr 001 are supposed to begin next month, in October.
What do you think of this Qilin battery news? What do you think of the Zeekr 001 and Zeekr 009? What do you think of the CATL–Zeekr partnership? I definitely find it interesting that CATL would roll out its most advanced batteries in an extremely young startup without much legacy swag or sway. It will surely be a slow launch.
For more on these topics, explore our archives for CATL and Zeekr, and keep an eye on CleanTechnica in the future — surely there will be more stories on these companies soon.
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