On October 16, 2023, Chery’s Technology DAY was held. During the event, Chery announced that its new product, the EXEED Star Epoch ES, will use the Ningde Era Shenxing Supercharging Battery – with just 10 minutes of charging, the vehicle can be replenished with enough energy to travel 400 km.
During the communication meeting after the Technology DAY, Gao Huan, the CTO of the domestic passenger car division of the Ningde Era, provided a further introduction to the Shenxing battery and answered related questions.
Gao Huan explained that the Shenxing Supercharging Battery’s ability to replenish 400 km of energy in just 10 minutes is mainly achieved by accelerating the positive electrode through a super electron network, innovating graphite raw materials to enhance the adhesion efficiency of lithium ions, and adopting a new ultra-high conductivity electrolyte to reduce the transmission resistance of lithium ions. In addition, battery safety is ensured by reducing the heat generated by reactions and managing heat through smart algorithms.
In addition to replenishing 400 km of energy in 10 minutes, the Shenxing Supercharging Battery can still maintain a high output power under the conditions of -10 degree Celsius and low power, without affecting the acceleration performance.
Furthermore, Gao Huan revealed that the Ningde Era has already built its first 4C supercharging station on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and that more enterprises will follow suit.
More content about the Shenxing Supercharging Battery was elaborated upon by Gao Huan and other senior executives of the Ningde Era during a QA session.
The main contents of the QA are as follows, edited without changing their original meanings.
Q: How does the Shenxing Supercharging Battery perform on ordinary slow charging piles?
A: Over the past few years, the main focus of concern for new energy vehicles has been the driving range.
Divided by class, Class A vehicles have a basic driving range of 400 km, which can satisfy the needs of operation vehicles for services like Didi; for private use, Class A vehicles are generally controlled around 500 km, with the most being around 600 km, as higher costs make them difficult to sell; Class B vehicles have higher requirements, and are generally designed with a driving range of 500-600 km, with the top configurations capable of reaching 700 km; For luxury vehicles of Class C and above, they require 700 or more, or 800 km.
The current battery capabilities can satisfy all these requirements for driving range.
Once the issue of driving range is relieved, the recharge rate becomes the main focus. With higher recharge rates, I believe that the requirements for driving ranges will be lowered. The industry will definitely start focusing more on improving the recharge rate. Hence, I believe that supercharging stations will become mainstream, while slow charging stations will gradually exit the market.
Q: There are a lot of super fast charging piles now, but if several vehicles charge at the same time, there will be diversion, making the charging time longer. Is there a situation where ultra-fast charging may be difficult to implement in theory?
A: We can recall the history of mobile phone charging. We can slowly charge during the eight-hour sleep, but the experience is still somewhat lacking. Therefore, I do not think that there will be difficulties in the implementation of supercharging.
Moreover, policy is favoring supercharging. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has published a new national standard for DC charging of electric vehicles which has increased the maxi-mum charging current from the previous 250A to 800A today; it has multiplied several times. The country is strongly promoting the basic application of high-power DC charging piles.
I foresee the gradual replacement of slow charging stations, with the future landscape undoubtedly set to be filled with super-charging stations. Apart from the national standards, various regions are rolling out policies in support of the development of high-power charging stations. In September 2022, Guangzhou proposed the establishment of a ‘City of Superchargers’ by 2024, and recently, Shandong announced that the proportion of public rapid charging stations in urban areas should exceed 70%, forming a ‘Quick-charge Circle’ within ten minutes.
Moreover, the pace of the full industry chain layout is accelerating, and supercharging stations are set to be standard. At present, OEMs are expediting the deployment, including Kuai Bu’s 600 kW liquid-cooled storage charge system and 480 kW air-cooled supercharge system, amongst other 4C supercharging stations. According to statistics from the China Automobile Industry Association, the growth of large power charging stations of 180 kW or more has been rapid over the past four years, with an increased share by 10%.
Before these supercharging stations are fully rolled out, can our current charging stations enhance the charging experience with the Shenxing super-battery? The answer is definitely yes. How does the Shenxing super-battery perform in these areas?
If a car is equipped with a Shenxing super-battery, it will provide an excellent experience. Especially in comparison to ordinary batteries, consider scenarios where, for example, we are in Beijing in October when the temperature is at freezing point. After leaving the battery cold overnight, the charging current is very slow and could take several hours. However, by using a 250 A terminal to charge a Shenxing super-battery, there will be a noticeable difference in the current.
Q: Since the introduction of Shenxing Batteries, which have a cost advantage and a range of 500-600 km that is sufficient for electric vehicles, is CATL worried about competition with its Kirin Batteries?
A: Firstly, our premise in introducing the Shenxing Super Battery is technology egalitarianism, aiming to bring fast charging into every household. Be it Kirin or Shenxing, we are striving to control costs in order to allow everyone to enjoy the benefits of technology. Further, different volume distributions and different types of vehicles, as well as different performance requirements, make this a complex issue that cannot be simply viewed.
Secondly, you mentioned that after the introduction of Shenxing Super Charge, whether it will affect Kirin battery. The vehicles we apply have different segments, from Chery’s small ant to EXEED’s epoch, and to high-end ones such as the MPV everyone is working on now, the battery needs of each car are different. I believe there will be no conflict. Shenxing and Kirin will each play to their own strengths, meeting the needs of all the different segmented vehicle models.
Q: This year, concerns about battery recycling and the carbon footprint of new energy vehicles have heightened both domestically and abroad, with potential worries of carbon taxation and barriers in places like Europe. Can you update us on the progress of battery recycling at CATL?
A: CATL released a zero-carbon strategy, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality in core operations by 2025 and full value chain carbon neutrality by 2035, assisting China and the world in meeting their dual-carbon goals. Furthermore, CATL’s lithium battery recycling scale has consistently topped the global charts for many years, and we have also achieved the world’s first large-scale industrialization of iron lithium battery recycling.
Bangpu Circular, a subsidiary of CATL, has built a complementary battery entire industrial chain recycling system with upper and lower stream advantages, with its pioneering directional recycling approach, it has taken lead in tackling the industry problem of ‘waste reduction’. The total recycling rate of core metal materials in battery products can be as high as 99.3%. This helps us further control costs, and over the coming years, as our penetration rate increases and more batteries are recycled, costs will significantly decrease, greatly alleviating the issue of resource scarcity.We are working hand in hand with the industry to create an eco-cycle of “Battery Production – Use – Cascade Utilization – Recycling and Resource Regeneration”, participating in the revision of battery recycling and battery material standards with 335 already published. We inovate directional cycling technology and positive electrode material synthesis technology, leading the solution to the industry challenge of “waste reduction”, with 2,905 patents applied for. Our current waste battery handling capacity is 120,000 tons, with domestic waste battery recycling accounting for 50.4%.
Moreover, Contemporary Amperex Technology also discusses strategic cooperation with local suppliers in Europe, focusing on positive active material and battery recycling, extending the sustainable development value chain of batteries, and facilitating the global carbon neutrality.
Q: Why was Chery chosen for the model implementation of the Godspeed super charging battery? What is the standard for Contemporary Amperex Technology to choose its cooperative models?
A: The release of the Godspeed super charging battery is something we have been planning and contemplating over the past six months, making the new energy vehicle standard available to every ordinary household under the principle of “Everyone can use, every vehicle can enjoy”. Since the release, Chery, HOZON, and avatr have all contacted us, it is a shared ideal, therefore we need to step up our development work, and not drag our clients down.
Q: This summer, due to the impact of extreme heavy rain weather, the problem of electric vehicles fording water has become a focus. Do you have any new breakthroughs making the latest Godspeed super charging battery face rainstorms and extreme cold?
A: Technological innovation has always been the core driver of Contemporary Amperex Technology. We are always pursuing all-condition performance in R&D and manufacturing. The extreme cold, low temperature, and even plateau conditions you mentioned are all considered full weather conditions of usage. Our battery was developed under hundreds, even thousands of test conditions, capable of performing under extremely cold, high temperature and even high altitude conditions, providing the users with steady, sustainable and reliable support.
Regarding the heavy rain situation, the internationally recognized standard for battery development is IPX7, but Contemporary Amperex Technology raised this standard to IPX8. The concept of IPX8 is that our battery will not be affected even after 48 hours soaked underwater at a depth of 1m. Of course, we will continue to develop a series of technologies to deal with extreme weather like IPX9, and technological innovation is always our priority.
Low temperature has also been a significant concern, especially under the environments north of the Yangtze River, where it is frequently below zero. Therefore, from the level of material as well as battery design, our batteries have been developed to be able to perform quick charge and discharge functions under such conditions. For example, the function of the introduced Godspeed super charging battery can achieve an 80% full charge in 30 minutes under -10 degrees Celsius.
As for the issue of fording water, as per my experience, a month ago in Ningde, Fujian there was a typhoon. Many gas-driven vehicles were in the lead and the electric vehicles followed. Halfway through, the gas-driven vehicles stopped moving because water had already entered their engines. Still, the electric cars handled this well. Therefore, we are at an advantage under some circumstances as explained with IPX7 and IPX8. We give assurance to use our batteries under all weather conditions.### Q: In addition to domestic car companies, do you have contact with international car companies? Also, it was first loaded on Chery. As the quantity increases, will the cost gradually decrease?
A: The Shenxing Super Charging Battery is our first announcement in China, the domestic need, and the world need too.
Since the fourth quarter of last year, the electrification of European cars has entered a stage of explosive growth. At present, it is the second-largest electric car market globally, and the challenge of charging efficiency has become massive.
In September, the Shenxing Super Charging Battery was officially launched to the overseas market at the Munich IAA Auto Show. Many European car manufacturers hoped to negotiate with us, and the German Chancellor specifically observed and communicated with us in the Contemporary booth for a long time. We have a factory in Germany, and the governor of the state where we are located also proposes that our factory has the ability to produce Shenxing Super Charging Batteries. Therefore, the European market has an urgent demand for our Shenxing 4C Super Charging.
We are currently pushing for the launch of the Shenxing Super Charging Battery in the European market. Relying on our European manufacturing base and Contemporary’s leading limit manufacturing capabilities, whether it is the Shenxing Super Charging Battery or the Kirin Battery, they must be matched with our limit manufacturing capabilities to ensure safety and reliability. On this basis, we are accelerating the rapid launch of the Shenxing Super Charging Battery in the European market, so that European consumers can board the Shenxing Super Charging Battery as soon as possible to help the further development of its new energy market.
At the same time, we also provide core competitiveness for domestic new energy car companies to go overseas, helping domestic car companies to enhance their brand and service in overseas markets. Ningde’s power battery technology and the super performance of Shenxing’s supercharging batteries are competitive globally. We will join hands with more partners in the industry chain.
Therefore, to answer your second cost question: we have several key technical points in the Shenxing Super Charging Battery. Because we have just applied it, the cost is relatively high before the scale comes up. However, I believe that as the Shenxing Super Charging Battery is launched, our users are increasing, the scale is getting larger, and the scale effect is highlighted, there must be considerable space for cost optimization.
Q: After actual installation, how do both parties coordinate and solve such problems as supercharging overheating at the technical level?
First of all, the Shenxing Super Charging Battery uses a unique material system, including positive and negative electrodes, electrolyte diaphragm, which improves safety while also designing at the material level for heat generation.
In addition, we first made innovations in the design of the battery, including the design of the electrode sheet and the structure of the battery core, to ensure that the heat generation at the battery core level can be small. Secondly, we adopt an integrated high-efficiency thermal management system at the system level, which can also achieve the second level of cooling protection during charging. Finally, we cooperate with the high-power cooling of the entire vehicle layer, effectively reducing the overheating problem of supercharging from point to surface, from materials to battery core, and from battery pack to the whole vehicle.
Q: How do you control the total weight of the battery pack landed by Shenxing Super Charging Battery on Chery now? What compromises have been made while controlling the total weight of the battery pack? Will it correspondingly compress endurance to a certain extent?A: Given that lithium iron phosphate does indeed pose some challenges in terms of weight compared to ternary lithium, in the development of the ultra-fast charging battery, we also considered whether fast charging would sacrifice energy density. Therefore, we’ve done several things on the battery side.
First, at the cell level, by innovating the negative electrode material through multi-dimensional innovation of the electrode sheets, we were able to achieve a high porosity rate on the upper layer and high pressure on the lower layer, thus balancing high energy density with fast charging.
Second, at the structural level, we used NEDO’s third-generation CTP 3.0 system integrated innovative structural design. This helped achieve system-level lightening on our ultra-fast charging battery, thereby balancing high energy density, fast charging and lightening at the battery pack level.
Q: How big is the market for lithium iron phosphate ultra-fast charging batteries now? What’s the estimated market outlook for these ultra-fast charging batteries?
A: With the release of the ultra-fast charging battery, I think there will definitely be further growth in the lithium iron phosphate market.
According to China Battery Innovation Alliance data from January to September, lithium iron phosphate installations currently account for nearly 70% of total installations on the market. But the mainstream charging rate is just over 1C and doesn’t quite reach 2C. The fastest full charge takes 40 minutes, and the slowest an hour, possibly longer in low temperatures.
Our ultra-fast charging battery accomplishes a charge in just 10 minutes and can run up to 800 km. This redefines lithium iron phosphate, making it different. In the future, ultra-fast charging will no longer only be for high-end users, but a prime choice for the general public.
But will we only produce lithium iron phosphate batteries? No, we will launch several different products under our brand, including for operational vehicles and winter use.
The market is increasingly recognizing that “If you’re buying an electric vehicle, consider the battery, choose NEDO”. We aim to make consumers aware that while the electric era brings benefits for everyone, we cannot lag behind with battery technology. We need to address the pain points of electric vehicles.
I’ve seen on social media that when buying a new energy vehicle, owners ask if it’s a NEDO battery. This only encourages us, as power battery researchers, to develop the next generation of more competitive batteries. Whether it’s our ultra-fast charging battery or others, we will provide quality service to improve people’s experiences.
Q: The ultra-fast charging battery uses the CTP 3.0 structure. But in terms of heat dissipation, does it use NP 1.0 or 2.0?
A: The NP technology is an independent one. Whether it’s 1.0 or 2.0, all our products can use it. Currently, our ultra-fast charging battery uses the 1.0 version.
Q: Can the ultra-fast charging battery’s lithium iron phosphate be considered an upgrade to the original lithium iron phosphate battery?
A: The ultra-fast charging battery is a significant upgrade for the lithium iron phosphate battery. It’s not just an ordinary lithium iron phosphate battery anymore.
The development of lithium iron phosphate has been slow in energy density and various performance aspects over the years. This year, however, we’ve made substantial improvements. It’s still essentially a lithium iron phosphate battery, but we’ve made considerable optimizations and upgrades.### Q: Are there any technological differences or market segmentation between Shenxing battery and M3P battery?
A: Market segmentation certainly depends on consumer demand, and varies according to different vehicle needs.
Shenxing is our product and brand, M3P and lithium iron phosphate are our technology paths, which are not conflictual.
The progress of M3P, the material you concern, was also mentioned by Chery today that it would be installed in its cars, but how to attribute future performance characteristics will be further planned and discussed.
Moreover, market share is absolutely related to the demand of each development stage of the cars in the market and the sensitivity to cost, but I don’t think market share maintains the same. Our global market share continues to break through, ultimately aiming to meet the battery needs of consumers, which is our starting point and original intention.
Q: Shenxing supercharging battery is constantly pushing the limit of energy density, so how does CATL look at the competition with solid-state batteries in the future?
A: Actually, Shenxing supercharging battery is not breaking through in energy density, but in charging speed, which is the product of science and technology empowerment we want to create.
Our Shenxing supercharging battery is the first to achieve 4C supercharging with lithium iron phosphate, which is the breakthrough point of our core technology.
The solid-state batteries you mentioned mainly have ultra-high energy density. CATL’s solid battery has achieved 500 Wh/kg, and it can even make some developments in the aviation field. I think it is a product to make plans in different segmented markets.
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