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CATL launch concept for battery swapping

The world’s largest battery maker, CATL has through its subsidiary CAES launched the battery swapping concept EVOGO. The concept is a new pack design integrated with technology and a plan to build out swapping stations where the pack in different sizes can be swapped in a car in only 60 seconds.

The battery pack, named Choco as it looks like a chocolate bar, is a mass-produced module-based battery with 20 kWh in each module or block. The module can be combined to up to 80 kWh giving drivers the flexibility to use less battery capacity for everyday driving and increase it for longer trips. The battery is using CATL’s CTP (cell to pack) technology, through which it gets a specific energy of over 160 Wh/kg and an energy density of 325 Wh/L. Each block provides a driving range of 200 km.

CATL claims that the swappable battery is compatible with 80 per cent of global BEV platform-based vehicle models available on the market and with all platforms to be released the next three years globally. There are however no explanations available how this is possible.

The concept will be launched in 10 cities which are still to be selected.

What’s interesting with the concept is not only that a major, and in fact the leading, battery maker integrate one step forward providing a full service solution to OEMs and their customers but also that they have addressed the dilemma that drivers use different amounts of battery capacity in different situations. This addresses cost but also potential supply problems ahead due to limited supply of battery materials.

Swapping in it self has been pioneered already by the Chinese companies BAIC and Nio which both have built out hundreds of swapping stations in China, and from this year, the first one in Norway (for Nio). In the US the startup Ample which do exactly what CATL now is proposing, outfitting EVs with swappable batteries. The company recently raised $30M with plans for bringing the concept to Europe. The South Korean battery giants LG Energy Solutions and SK On have both, together with Hyundai Kia, announced plans for Battery-as-a-Service solutions and in Europe has the CEO of Renault claimed that the company is considering swapping as future model.

Read more here.

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