CATL’s groundbreaking Qilin battery pack will debut in the ZEEKR 009

How is ‘Qilin’ Killing it?

The Qilin batteries are based on CATL’s third-generation cell-to-pack (CTP) battery system, which uses prismatic lithium-ion cells. CATL claims that it has achieved record-breaking 72 percent volume utilization efficiency with this battery which has an energy density of 255Wh/kg.

CATL's groundbreaking Qilin battery pack promises a 621-mile range for EVs

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To put this into context, CATL’s own first-generation batteries had a volume utilization efficiency of 50 percent. InsideEVs found that the cooling plates that were arranged on top of the prismatic cells by CATL before have now been placed between the cell lines in the new battery. This has reportedly increased the heat transfer area of the cell by as much as 4x and allows the battery to withstand prolonged 4C charging.

The resultant effect is that the Qilin batteries can go from 10-80 percent state of charge (SOC) in just 10 minutes while also supporting a “hot start” in about five minutes.

Comparisons with Tesla

Interestingly, CATL, the world’s largest EV battery manufacturer by market share, has chosen to compare the efficiency of its Qilin batteries to that of the 4680-type cylindrical cells that Tesla CEO Elon Musk has spoken about time and again.

In the press release, CATL states that its Qilin batteries will deliver 13 percent more power than the 4680 battery that it also manufactures. Additionally, the third-generation battery will also deliver a higher volumetric integration, better thermal efficiency, and faster-charging rates.

CATL has announced that it has now entered into a strategic partnership with ZEEKR that will ensure that the Qilin batteries are available to the EV maker first. ZEEKR plans to launch them in Q1 of 2023 with its ZEEKR 009 model, its new all-electric MPV.

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