Chinese battery maker CATL claims 50% boost in cold-weather EV charging

The new tech also offers a 43 percent improvement of battery range under more normal temperatures.
Loukia Papadopoulos
CATL headquarters.jpg
CATL headquarters.


Chinese battery maker CATL, the world's largest battery supplier, said on Thursday it has engineered new materials for lithium-ion batteries that would significantly improve charging efficiency for electric vehicles in cold weather.

This is according to a report by Reuters published on Thursday.

Wu Kai, CATL's chief scientist, told a forum in Shanghai that the firm had developed new electrolyte materials that could deliver a 50 percent increase in lithium-ion battery efficiency in extreme cold at minus 20 degrees Celsius and 43 percent under more normal temperatures.

He added that his company would be able to mass produce a battery capable of delivering 248 miles (400 km) of driving range with a 10-minute charge this year.

The firm has ambitious plans to further shorten that time to five to seven minutes for the same driving range.

Carmakers everywhere have been making great efforts to develop solid-state batteries that would offer greater power and increased driving range. However, for now these batteries remain too expensive, a problem CATL seeks to solve.

There is a particular focus on creating batteries equipped to handle winter weather conditions since the cold slows reactions inside the electrolyte solution, needed to pass a charge between the battery's two electrodes and forces the battery to do extra work to heat an EV, noted Reuters.

In June of 2022, CATL announced that the third generation of its cell-to-pack technology offered a range of over 621 miles (1000 km) on a single charge. Named Qilin after a legendary creature in Chinese mythology the new tech featured a record-breaking volume utilization efficiency of 72 percent and an energy density of up to 416 kilojoules per pound (255 Wh/kg), achieving the highest integration level worldwide so far. 

In September of 2022, it was revealed that CATL and EVE Energy would set up gigafactories in China and Europe with an annual capacity of 20 GWh each to produce batteries for BMW’s NEUE KLASSE (New Class) models that use cylindrical cells and can exceed the 620 miles (1,000 km) benchmark that had been set for electric vehicles.

Capable of taking a higher voltage of 800V, the new batteries could be charged with a current of up to 500 amperes allowing a 30 percent reduction in charging time when going from 10-80 percent state of charge.

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