BYD and CATL to Unveil Revolutionary 6C Fast Charging Batteries This Year

A 6C rate signifies a full charge in 1/6th of an hour, roughly 10 minutes.

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Shenxing PLUS: World's first LFP battery with 1,000 km Range & 4C Superfast Charging

With major automakers in a fierce battle for EV dominance, faster charging speeds are now crucial. Consumers want EVs that can recharge quickly, similar to gasoline-powered vehicles. Supercharging technology gained traction in 2023, marking its first significant year. China is focused on installing public charging piles to support its growing EV market.

Introducing 6C Fast Charging

This year, BYD and CATL will introduce batteries with 6C fast charging capabilities. This advancement will enhance the speed and efficiency of charging electric vehicles. The 6C technology charges batteries six times faster than traditional methods, cutting charging times and making EVs more practical.

BYD’s New Blade Battery 2.0

BYD plans to release its lithium iron phosphate (LFP) Blade Battery 2.0 in the second half of 2024. This battery supports a 6C charge rate, allowing compatible EVs to charge in about 10 minutes.

CATL’s Qilin Battery 2.0

CATL also plans to release its Qilin Battery 2.0 by the end of 2024. Using LFP chemistry, it will offer a 6C charging capability. This will significantly improve charging times for EVs with CATL’s next-gen battery.

Recent Advances in Fast Charging

CATL launched its 5C charging battery a few months ago. For example, the Zeekr 001, equipped with the CATL Shenxing 5C battery, can charge from 10 to 80% in 11.5 minutes. This adds 472 km of range, based on the China Light Duty Vehicle Test Cycle (CLTC).

Looking Ahead: 6C Charging

CATL is working on the next-gen Qilin Battery, set to release later in 2024 with a 6C charging rate. This could allow a full charge in just 10 minutes, making EVs more convenient.

BYD’s Blade Battery

BYD is developing a 6C version of its Blade Battery for late 2024. A mixed material system combining iron lithium and ternary materials might achieve this faster charging while maintaining high energy density. This competition between battery makers promises even faster EV charging times.

The Shenxing Family of Batteries

CATL’s Shenxing battery family offers a glimpse into the future of fast charging for EVs. The Shenxing, launched in February 2024, has a 5C charging rate. This is ideal for drivers who value shorter charging times over higher energy density.

Shenxing Plus: Balancing Speed and Range

In April 2024, CATL introduced the Shenxing Plus. It has a 4C charging rate and a higher energy density of 205 Wh/kg. This allows for a 1000 km range based on the CLTC. The Shenxing Plus suits long-distance travel where maximizing range is key.

The Meaning of “C” in Charging Rates

The “C” rate refers to a battery’s capacity. A 1C rate means the battery charges in one hour. A 6C rate charges the battery in about 10 minutes. Imagine a battery as a bucket and electricity as water. With 6C charging, it’s like having six hoses filling the bucket simultaneously.

Patents and Strategies

BYD is committed to faster charging with patent filings and strategic acquisitions. Their focus on the Blade Battery signals their dedication to improving EV charging.

Current Fast Charging Infrastructure in China

Li Auto aims to build 5,000 supercharging stations with 5C technology by 2025. They launched their 400th supercharger station in May 2024, reaching 90% of major highways and urban areas. This will make charging more accessible for Li Auto owners.

Huawei’s 600 kW Charging Stations

In February, Huawei introduced its 600 kW EV charging station. This technology cuts charging times significantly, allowing an EV to charge in under 30 minutes. Huawei plans to deploy these stations widely by the end of 2024.

China’s Charging Network

China has the world’s largest EV charging network, but most stations offer 120 kW chargers. To achieve fast charging speeds of under 15 minutes, stations need at least 360 kW chargers.

4C Supercharging Connectors

A 4C supercharging connector can handle up to 480 kW of power. This strong electric current (615 amps) makes charging very quick.

Challenges in Fast Charging Infrastructure

China has few stations that can supercharge EVs as fast as new cars allow (4C or 5C). Even with advanced EVs, finding compatible stations can be difficult.

The Charging Landscape in 2024

The race for faster charging solutions is intense in 2024. Automakers are investing in research and development for charging speeds beyond 10C. Concerns remain about infrastructure and the impact on battery longevity. Rapid growth in supercharging technology is expected in the next 5 to 7 years.

Liquid-Cooled Charging Stations

China had about 2.6 million public charging piles as of last November. Liquid cooling in charging stations is a significant technological advancement. This shift indicates broader trends towards faster and more efficient EV charging solutions. The global liquid-cooled charging station industry is projected to exceed $1.8 billion by 2030.