CATL will push batteries with a life span of up to 2 million kilometers

Zeng Yuqun, chairman of Chinese battery maker CATL, said in an interview that the company is ready to produce batteries that can last for 16 years and allow electric vehicles to travel 2 million kilometers, according to Bloomberg. Electric vehicle batteries are currently warranted for about 150,000 miles, or eight years, according to BloombergNEF. Therefore, the new battery of CATL will be a milestone.

Zeng Yuqun pointed out: “If someone places an order, we are ready to produce.” But he did not disclose whether the relevant contract has been signed. It is understood that the cost of the new battery will be about 10% higher. According to Bloomberg, CATL expects the electric vehicle industry to return to growth quickly, so it has invested heavily in research and development in battery technology. According to Zeng Yuqun’s forecast, around 2030-2035, electric vehicles will surpass gasoline vehicles, which will be a “tipping point” for electric vehicles, and this time point is earlier than the predictions made by researchers such as Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

  

Image source: Ningde Times official

Zeng Yuqun said that although the outbreak of the new crown epidemic will significantly reduce sales throughout this year, the demand for electric vehicles will pick up in early 2021; the demand for car purchases suppressed during the epidemic will be released from next year, especially luxury models. Zeng Yuqun said, “The new crown epidemic may have a long-term impact in 2020, but the impact on next year will not be very large. We are full of confidence in the long-term development.”

CATL and Tesla signed a two-year contract in February after months of negotiations. According to the contract, CATL batteries will be used in Model 3 models produced at Tesla’s Shanghai plant. Zeng Yuqun revealed that he often shares his insights with Musk, and the two will communicate technology and business development through text messages; CATL is strengthening its relationship with Tesla, such as putting cobalt-free batteries on the agenda.

Zeng Yuqun also revealed that Musk asked him to help obtain ventilators for new crown patients. In March, Musk received 1,000 ventilators from China and sent them to the Los Angeles government. “We get along really well, he’s a fun guy, he talks about costs all day, and we can definitely figure out a solution.”

It is understood that CATL will produce more than 70% of the batteries required by BMW, and has also cooperated with Audi and Porsche. In addition, Zeng Yuqun did not rule out the possibility of building a factory in the United States, but also said that there is no specific plan yet. “Our team has achieved good results when competing with overseas companies.”

Worrying that the battery performance will gradually weaken and need to be replaced in a few years is a major problem that hinders consumers from buying electric vehicles. Tesla said last year that it expected to start producing a battery with a 1-million-mile range; General Motors said last month that it would also reach that goal.

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