Breakthrough battery powers electric car for 1,000km from a single charge

Mass production of Nio’s next-generation battery is set to begin in April 2024

Anthony Cuthbertson
Thursday 28 December 2023 21:39
Aptera solar-powered electric car

An electric car maker in China has demonstrated a new battery capable of powering a vehicle for more than 1,000km on a single charge.

Shanghai-based Nio claims that the next-generation battery will enter mass production in April 2024, offering a longer range than any other electric or fuel-powered car currently on the market.

Nio chief executive William Li drove the all-electric ET7 vehicle 1,044km (649 miles) during a 14-hour live-stream, which saw the car travel from Zhejiang province to Fujian province on Sunday at an average speed of 84km/h. A separate test of the breakthrough battery reportedly saw it cover 1,145km, however this was not broadcast.

“The completion of this endurance challenge proves the product power of the 150kWh ultra-long endurance battery pack,” Mr Li wrote in a post on the Chinese social media site Weibo.

“This battery is currently the battery pack with the highest energy density in mass production in the world and has excellent safety performance. More importantly, all models on sale can be flexibly upgraded to 150kWh batteries through the Nio battery swap system.”

Nio takes an unorthodox approach to charging vehicles, favouring a battery-swap system rather than plugging the car into an outlet and waiting for the battery to recharge.

A unique mechanism built into the vehicle means that an empty battery can be swapped with a fully charged battery in less than three minutes – roughly the amount of time it takes to refill a fuel-powered vehicle.

Customers are able to buy a vehicle without a battery and then pay a monthly subscription fee to use batteries within Nio’s network.

The Nio ET7 aims to be the first electric car to offer a range greater than 1,000km

Nio’s president Qin Lihong said that buying the new battery outright would cost 298,000 yuan (£33,000) – roughly equivalent to the price of a Tesla Model 3 – which is why the company advocates the use of a hire scheme for its customers as well as for the electric vehicle industry as a whole.

“NIO started battery swap from the very beginning, it has been ready to open up its technologies and infrastructure to the entire industry,” Mr Li said.

“Similar to the cloud service provided by Internet companies, NIO’s Power Swap network and Power Cloud also followed the path along which we started with developing infrastructure and achieving a closed loop internally, and then open to others after validating the service across various scenarios.”

The company revealed in November that it has provided more than 32 million battery swaps for users through its network of more than 2,000 Power Swap Stations worldwide.

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