A Chinese electric vehicle maker has unveiled a next-generation EV battery with the ability of offering 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of range, a distance that’s significantly more than any EV battery currently on the market can travel. Shanghai-based carmaker Nio Inc. (NYSE: NIO) says the 1,000-kilometer battery will begin mass production this April.
Nio CEO William Li drove the electric ET7 model from Zhejiang Province to Fujian Province, a distance of around 1,044 kilometers (649 miles), in a live stream lasting 14 hours. He began the trip at the Shanghai World Expo Center battery swap station at 6:32 a.m. and traveled through Cicheng, Taizhou, Cangan, Fu’an, Lianjing and Puli service areas before reaching Xiamen City in Fujian Province at 8:33 p.m. with 3% left in the tank.
While Nio didn’t expect the battery to exceed 1,000 kilometers, the battery exceeded everyone’s expectations and traveled a whopping 1,044 kilometers in 14 hours and 1 minute. Another unbroadcasted test saw the revolutionary battery cover a whopping 711 miles on a single charge, a feat few other electric vehicles have managed to achieve.
According to Li, completing the endurance challenge proved the 150-kWh ultralong life battery pack’s product power. The top Nio official posted on Weibo that their battery pack was the most energy-dense EV battery being mass produced. Furthermore, he said the breakthrough battery had “excellent safety performance” and could be swapped into all Nio models currently on sale via the Nio battery swap system.
Unlike other EV makers that design their EVs for charging at private or public chargers, Nio opted for a much faster battery-swapping system that involves swapping a depleted battery with a fully charged one at a charging station. This mechanism allows Nio drivers to pull into charging stations and swap their batteries with charged ones in under three minutes, making it possible for EV drivers to “refuel” as fast as internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle drivers.
Rather than buy an EV with a battery, Nio customers can buy an electric car without the battery and pay monthly fees to make use of the batteries in Nio’s network. Since EV batteries are by far the most expensive component in any electric car, renting a battery rather than buying it outright can bring down EV purchase costs significantly.
Nio president Qin Lihong also advises Nio drivers to use the battery-hire scheme to access the new 1,000-kilometer battery because purchasing the battery outright would cost roughly the same as a Tesla Model 3.
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