Chinese giant that powers Tesla says it has million-mile electric-car battery ready to launch
The Chinese behemoth that makes electric-car batteries for Tesla Inc. and Volkswagen AG developed a power pack that lasts more than a million miles — an industry landmark and a potential boon for automakers trying to sway drivers to their EV models.
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. is ready to produce a battery that lasts 16 years and 2 million kilometers (1.24 million miles), Chairman Zeng Yuqun said in an interview at company headquarters in Ningde, southeastern China.
Warranties on batteries currently used in electric cars cover about 150,000 miles or eight years, according to BloombergNEF.
Extending that lifespan is viewed as a key advance because the pack could be reused in a second vehicle.
That would lower the expense of owning an electric vehicle, a positive for an industry that’s seeking to recover sales momentum lost to the coronavirus outbreak and the slumping oil prices that made gas guzzlers more competitive.
“If someone places an order, we are ready to produce,” said Zeng, 52, without disclosing if contracts for the long-distance product have been signed. It would cost about 10% more than the batteries now inside EVs, said Zeng, whose company is the world’s largest maker of the batteries.
The company signed a two-year deal to supply batteries for Tesla’s Model 3 cars in February. Its other clients include BMW, Daimler, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
The European market for EVs and plug-in hybrids grew by 72% in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2019, representing 7% of all delivered new cars, according to research firm Canalys.
By contrast, the pandemic weighed on the wider market, which as a whole saw deliveries down by 26% for the quarter.
The firm said that Catl’s claim was “significant but difficult to verify”.
“It is likely to be used as a differentiator by some car-makers when there is a significant difference from one vehicle to another – dramatically affecting resale value,” said Canalys’s chief automotive analyst Chris Jones.
He added that this and other factors – including the wider availability of charging points and longer driving ranges – should help tempt more motorists to make the switch to an electric car.