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China’s CATL Unveils Battery to Power Electric Aircraft

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China’s CATL Unveils Battery to Power Electric Aircraft

Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., known as CATL, unveiled its condensed battery which has higher energy density and is strong enough to power electric aircraft.

At an auto show held in Shanghai recently, CATL’s Scientist in Chief Wu Kai said the battery is a type of semi-solid state product with condensed electrolyte and new anode and separator materials. It has an energy density of 500 Watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg), which is a significant improvement over current lithium-ion batteries with an energy density of around 200-300 Wh/kg.

The company is working with unspecified partners to ensure the battery is qualified for aviation use in terms of safety and quality. The battery is expected to have high safety and high energy density, with single cells having an energy density of up to 500 Wh/kg.

The battery made from durable materials is also expected to have a longer lifespan than current lithium-ion batteries, making it more cost-effective in the long run.

This new technology is a breakthrough that will help electrify sectors wed to fossil fuels. Among them, the aviation industry, having struggled to find a way to electrify passenger aircraft, will be the one to benefit from the technological breakthrough.

Electric aircraft have been limited by the weight and size of current battery technology, which has made it difficult to achieve the range and performance required to fly. The condensed matter battery could potentially solve this problem by providing a lightweight and high-energy-density battery.

CATL is not the only company working on developing new battery technology for the aviation industry. Other companies, such as Tesla, Airbus and Ganfeng Lithium, are also working on developing new battery technology that could be used to power electric aircraft.

The battery could have applications beyond the aviation industry from electric cars to grid storage, but the technology is still in the development stage.

However, Wu Kai said the company is expected to mass produce the new battery for electric cars later this year. But it is not clear when the technology will be ready for electric aircraft.


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