CATL, the Chinese battery giant and a major supplier to Tesla, has unveiled its latest product that aims to solve electric vehicles’ charging and range limitations. The battery, dubbed Shenxing or “god-like movement,” is able to refuel up to 400 kilometers (250 miles) of range in 10 minutes, Gao Han, chief technology officer of CATL’s e-car division, said at a launch briefing on Wednesday.
That means vehicles powered by Shenxing can drive from New York to Boston (about 215 miles) after just 10 minutes of fast charging. Mass production of the battery is expected to be underway by the end of 2023, with shipping to begin in 2024.
Shenxing claims to be “the world’s first 4C superfast charging LFP battery. “LFP stands for lithium iron phosphate, a type of battery chemistry that Tesla widely adapted in 2021 for its shorter-range cars in place of nickel-cobalt-aluminum.
China is a big proponent of LFP, a technology spearheaded by its renewable energy darling CATL, which topped the global EV battery market with a 35% share in Q1, according to research firm SNE. This type of battery is known for its cheap prices and chemical stability, though it has a lower energy density than other battery chemistries, which is a drag on EVs’ range.
CATL’s extraordinary growth has been buoyed by an EV boom in China over the last few years. But the EV industry is decelerating as government subsidies shrink and consumption contracts amid a post-COVID economic downturn. Meanwhile, the Fujian-based battery manufacturers face heated competition from BYD, the Chinese EV giant that also makes its own battery. In Q1, BYD trailed CATL in second place with a 16.2% share of the global EV battery market.