(TMU) – A Chinese battery supplier says that it is ready to begin manufacturing an electric vehicle battery that is capable of powering a car for 1.24 million miles (two million km.) over the course of a 16-year lifespan.
The battery could revolutionize the automotive industry, as most automakers offer warranties on their car batteries limited to between 60,000 and 150,000 miles over a three- to eight-year period.
To put 1.2 million miles into perspective, imagine a length equivalent to circling the globe 50 times.
The new product could be capable of powering a car not only over typical span in which motorists own their vehicles, but could also be reused in a second vehicle.
Chinese car battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technologoy (CATL) has a number of major clients, including Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, Volvo, Honda and Toyota. However, the company hasn’t yet revealed who it plans to supply with the new battery.
Previous reports, however, indicate that “a new low-cost, long-life battery” was being jointly produced by the Chinese behemoth alongside Tesla. In February, the company also inked a two-year deal with Tesla to supply batteries for the company’s Model 3 cars.
The electric vehicle maker’s CEO and founder Elon Musk has teased investors and rivals with the existence of the “million mile” battery, which is key to the ambitious businessman’s goal of making Tesla cars as profitable and accessible as traditional gasoline vehicles.
Last month, American auto giant General Motors also claimed that it is fast approaching the milestone of developing a million-mile EV battery.
In his interview with Bloomberg, CATL Chairman Zeng Yuqun cryptically commented: “If someone places an order, we are ready to produce.”
When the product is introduced, it should go far in soothing consumer anxiety about batteries losing strength and requiring replacement over the course of a few years.
Likewise, the lowering of costs related to electric vehicle ownership could also help an industry that’s suffered lowered sales due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and collapsed oil prices that make gas-guzzling autos more attractive to motorists.
However, Zeng anticipates that the demand for electric vehicles should sharply rebound come early next year, reversing the short-term drag on demand resulting from COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns. Zeng expects that prospective car buyers who have been holding onto their wallets has created a pent-up demand that should spring forward at the start of 2021 – with premium models reaping the reqards.
With that in mind, the Chinese manufacturer has poured massive investments into research-and-development to ensure that it will hold the commanding advantage in battery tech.
“The pandemic may have a lasting effect throughout 2020, but won’t be a major factor next year,” Zeng added. “We have great confidence for the long run.”
Zeng, who founded CATL ten years ago, said that he and Musk often share insights with one another and exchange text messages about new developments in business and technology. CATL and Tesla also hope to jointly develop cobalt-free batteries. Zeng also said that Musk requested the Chinese behemoth’s help in supplying ventilators to hard-hit hospitals as the coronavirus outbreak dramatically grew in Marh.
“We’re getting along well and he’s a fun guy. He’s talking about cost all day long, and I’m making sure we have the solutions.”
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