China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Company Limited (CATL) said it had begun mass production of its latest Qilin electric vehicle (EV) batteries, according to local reports.

The world’s largest EV battery manufacturer, based in Ningde in Fujian province, said the new battery would be fitted first to a new model produced by Geely Automobile Holding’s premium EV brand Zeekr.

The Zeekr 009, an upmarket minivan scheduled to go into production in the second quarter of 2023, would be the first vehicle to feature the new batteries which CATL claimed have energy density of 255 watt hours per kilogramme and can provide a driving range of over 1,000km (620 miles) on a single charge.

The Qilin batteries are based on CATL’s third generation CTP technology which use prismatic battery cells combined into packs without modules to reduce complexity, weight, space and cost.

CATL claimed the batteries, which use its large surface cell cooling technology, can deliver 13% more power than an equivalent 4680 battery and offer an all round improvement in range, charging speed, safety, service life, efficiency and low temperature performance.

CATL last year entered into a five year strategic partnership with Geely Automobile to strengthen collaboration and “to promote the technological advancement of the new energy industry”.

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