CATL product innovation – new solutions for power batteries

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As an important part of the platform architecture, power battery plays a crucial role in the fast charging revolution of electric vehicles. Based on the continuous innovation of cell form, system structure and material system, the competition of power battery for diversified application scenarios continues to heat up. In this process, battery companies are chasing for the power battery innovation, among which CATL brought three new products that can not be underestimated.

Release of CATL’s new battery products

At the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2023, CATL introduced three new battery products including 4C Qilin battery, sodium ion battery, and the condensed battery. And announced to mass-produce 4C Qilin battery in March and put it on the market in April.


Sodium ion battery

The first news that CATL issued before and after the auto show was the landing of its sodium ion battery. On April 16, CATL’s first volume of mass-produced sodium ion batteries were announced to power Chery EV models. it was not only the debut of Chery EV, but also the debut of CATL’s sodium ion batteries.

Chery and CATL have jointly released the battery brand ENER-Q and both sides are committed to creating a battery system that covers pure electric, plug-in hybrid, and extended range full power types, suitable for all application scenarios of the C-end and B-end, covering all material systems such as sodium batteries, M3P, lithium iron phosphate, and lithium ternary.

Recently, the price of lithium ore has plummeted, which has made many main engine manufacturers, including top 10 motorcycle battery manufacturers, breathe a sigh of relief. But when lithium ore prices were high before, sodium ion batteries, as a low-cost power battery technology route, also attracted the attention of many battery companies in China. And CATL is the fastest growing automotive company in the commercialization of sodium ion batteries in China.

In 2021, CATL first released sodium ion batteries, and this year, sodium ion batteries are finally about to be industrialized. According to data released by CATL, the single cell energy density of the first generation sodium ion battery reached 160Wh/kg. And it came with excellent thermal stability, which enables the power to reach more than 80% when charge at room temperature for 15 minutes. And in an environment of -20℃, there is a discharge retention rate of over 90%. The system integration efficiency can reach over 80%.

Sodium ion battery

Low cost, fast charging, cold resistance and strong adaptability are the advantages of sodium ion battery. However, sodium ion battery isn’t perfect. The energy density of it is not high, and the cycle times is lower than lithium ion battery, these are the disadvantages that can not be ignored for sodium ion battery of current stage.

Therefore, in the short term, if sodium ion battery needs to be applied on the electric vehicles, it is more suitable for use in the ones with low range requirements and sensitive battery price, such as the small mobility model within 400km. Or adopt CATL’s AB battery system integration technology, mix and match sodium ion battery and lithium ion battery, which can not only meet the endurance requirements, but also play to the advantages of high power and low temperature performance of sodium ion battery.

Based on the current range of electric vehicles on the market, sodium ion batteries with a mix of sodium-lithium will be able to cover 65% of the market demand.

4C Qilin battery

Last year, when CATL launched Qilin Battery, many car companies stepped up at the first time, hoping to become the first users of Qilin battery. At this year’s Shanghai Auto Show, Li Auto unveiled its own all-electric plan, using the CATL 4C Qilin battery.

The so-called 4C Qilin battery is essentially based on the design of the CATL Qilin battery, combined with the 4C+800V strategy to solve the pain points of electric vehicle energy replenishment.

As the third generation CTP technology of CATL, the volume utilization rate of Qilin battery has exceeded 72%, and the battery pack integration is currently the highest in the world. If a ternary cell is used, its energy density can reach 255Wh/kg. If lithium iron phosphate battery is used, its system energy density can reach 160Wh/kg; Compared to the Tesla 4680 battery, the energy density per unit volume is 13% higher.

4C Qilin battery

4C Qilin battery is an increase on the charging and discharging rate of the battery. For charging, 4C represents the input set current, which takes one hour to charge the battery to 400% of its capacity. That is to say, at the set current intensity, the entire charging process can be completed in 15 minutes.

Moreover, the cooling function of the Qilin battery has increased by about four times compared to traditional cooling areas. Under the condition that fast charging generates heat, it does not sacrifice any lifespan, energy density, or safety testing, making it possible to fast charge in 10 minutes.

In the 800V super charge solution of Li Auto, the 4C Qilin battery can achieve charging for 10 minutes to reach a range of 400km. Under the 800V high-voltage platform, all components of the vehicle’s electrical architecture have been upgraded and redesigned to withstand higher lithium ion battery voltage. Power batteries are no exception, as they require higher charging and discharging rates to meet fast charging needs and stronger thermal management capabilities to ensure safety.

The 4C Qilin battery can be seen as a battery specifically designed for the 800V platform. With more and more car companies adopting the 800V high-voltage platform architecture, we will see more and more models using this battery in the future.

Condensed battery

At the launch conference on April 19th, CATL officially released a condensed battery with a single energy density of up to 500Wh/kg. The current energy density of ternary lithium batteries used in electric vehicles is between 220-300Wh/kg, if we replace them all with equal amounts of condensed batteries, the range can be doubled. In this way, mileage anxiety and battery weight seem to be no concern.


Condensed state refers to a system composed of a large number of particles with strong interactions among them. There are various kinds of condensed states in nature, including superfluid state at low temperatures , superconducting state, Bose Einstein condensate, ferromagnetic states in magnetic media, antiferromagnetic state and so on.

It can be said that the characteristic of condensed state battery systems is the ability to achieve superfluid and superconducting states, with stronger conductivity.

Therefore, condensed batteries have a larger capacity, more efficient conductivity, and more stable performance. In terms of parameters, the highest energy density of condensed battery can reach 500Wh/kg, which is far more than 160Wh/kg sodium ion battery, 180 Wh/kg lithium iron battery and 300Wh/kg ternary lithium battery. This means that for pure electric vehicles with a current range of 500-700km, if condensed state batteries can be replaced, their range will easily exceed 1000km.

In order to create condensed batteries, CATL has made a series of technological breakthroughs, including many core technologies such as high-power biomimetic condensed electrolytes, high specific energy cathode, new anode, and separators. Only by solving these problems can batteries be both safe and efficient.

CATL condensed battery

Vehicle grade condensed batteries will have mass production capacity within this year. We may see electric vehicles of ultra long range equipped with condensed batteries in the next 1-2 years.

However, the ambition of CATL towards condensed batteries seems to be not limited to cars. At present, they are collaborating on the development of civil electric manned aircraft projects based on condensed state batteries, conducting aviation level standards and testings that are far more stringent than automobiles, in preparation for the use of condensed batteries on aircraft.


Only four months have passed since 2023, and CATL has brought us three surprises: the upcoming 4C Qilin battery, the sodium ion battery put into production within the year, and the condensed battery as a breakthrough of the battery industry. This is not only another progress in the research and technological strength of CATL, but also brings new vitality and new impetus to the battery and automotive industries.

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