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CATL has Kirin CTP 3.0 batteries ready, with higher energy density than Tesla’s 4680

The current largest manufacturer of batteries for electric vehicles, CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology) is very close to officially presenting your new CTP 3.0 batteries, whose innovative design prevents thermal runaway from occurring and also offers higher energy density, even higher than Tesla’s 4680 cells. This has been assured Wukai, Vice President of CATL and Director of Research for the company at the 2022 World EV & ES Battery Conference held in Yibin. According to his statements, this product will be on the market next year for marketing.

Batteries are made up of a variable number of cells that make up the electrodes (cathode and anode), the separator that prevents them from touching, and the electrolyte, in which they are immersed and through which the ions travel. These cells, which are the chemical foundation of the battery, are assembled into modules, and the modules in turn connect to form the complete battery pack. However, this design allows for architectural modifications so that intermediate modules can be removed.

Since the “passive” material of the liner and module control is omitted, it can be installed more active material in the same volume and weight, ultimately leading to higher pack-level power density with the same cell technology. In addition, CTP technology has other added benefits. Its construction is simpler, since by dispensing with the modules, additional wiring is eliminated, which facilitates installation, reducing the time required for final packaging.

In 2020, Robin Zeng, president of CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology), already anticipated that this technology will bring the production cost of a battery-powered vehicle closer to those of combustion.

In March this year, CATL announced the production of the third generation of CTP batteries, which enables Kirin batteries to provide up to 13% more energy than Tesla’s 4680 cell batteries, using the same chemistry, same format and the same size ratio.

Tesla's new 4680 battery cell
According to CATL, Kirin batteries provide up to 13% more power than Tesla’s 4680 cell batteries, using the same chemistry, form factor and size ratio.

To package the Kirin battery, CATL has included a water cooling plate between every two layers of cells, rather than just installing that device solely at the bottom as is done in traditional designs, Wu explains. This design will stop heat transfer from one cell to the adjacent ones, thus avoiding thermal runaway. Also, this arrangement allows charging power to be increased up to 4C rates, which means the battery could be fully charged in about a quarter of an hour. Water cooled plates act as shock absorbers which improves battery life.

Kirin 3.0 batteries make better use of the available space, achieving energy capacities above current batteries. CATL will market these batteries with two different chemistries. With the LFP version (lithium ferrophosphate) offers a gravimetric energy density of 160Wh/kg and a volumetric energy density of 290 Wh/l. The NCM variant (nickel, cobalt oxide and manganese) offer a high specific energy and, at the same time, are very stable. For this version, the gravimetric and volumetric density values ​​are 250Wh/kg and 450 Wh/l, respectively, which means 13% more than Tesla 4680 cells.

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