Chinese battery developer discloses new technology with lifespan that could revolutionize EVs: 'An industry first'

Chinese battery developer discloses new technology with lifespan that could revolutionize EVs: 'An industry first'

A breakthrough in battery lifespan could help speed up the adoption of electric vehicles.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd., the Chinese battery behemoth, announced in April that it had developed a battery with a warranty of up to 932,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) or 15 years, Electrek reported.

CATL partnered with Yutung Bus Co. to manufacture the pack, which is for commercial buses and trucks. The battery does not degrade in its first 1,000 cycles, the latter company said, calling the technology "an industry first."

While range anxiety is often top of mind for EV drivers and those looking to divest from gas-powered automobiles, battery life is also a concern. To produce EV batteries, lithium, cobalt, and other metals must be extracted from the earth. This adds to the planet-warming pollution in the atmosphere, which is the cause of spiking temperatures around the globe, an increase in extreme weather events, and more intense disasters such as droughts and floods.


Some people argue that this means vehicles with internal combustion engines are better for the environment, wildlife, and our health, but EVs are still much cleaner options than their counterparts. They produce zero tailpipe pollution and come close to being squeaky clean if they're powered by renewable energy such as solar or wind.

And now, those expensive batteries — partly responsible for high EV prices — may not need to be replaced. The development will likely only increase CATL's market share after its U.S. and European sales doubled last year.

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"China already dominates the EV battery market, with BYD and CATL accounting for over 50% alone," Electrek reported.

Another recent announcement by CATL had some commenters even more stoked than the warranty news: It plans to reduce lithium ferrous phosphate battery prices by 50% by the middle of the year, per Electrek.

"Who cares about 1m or 1.5m km when we can expect 500,000 km out of a battery TODAY," someone asked. "This is already way better than your diesel or should I say DIEsel engine needing $1500 parts replacing at 50,000km.

"What matters is that people can produce enough batteries at a price that puts EVs at a price that is attractive for [greater than] 50% of car buyers."

Another commenter agreed, writing: "Regardless of the minutia, we can see we are NOT at 5% per year improvements, the number used by analysts and big oil to defend [plug-in hybrid electric vehicles], endless oil sales, fossil fuels forever, etc. That argument just died here, today."

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Others noted low-mileage cars might now be able to last nearly as long as a human lifespan and that EV resale values could soar.

As someone else pointed out, citing secondhand Teslas and other EVs that don't yet need replacement batteries, many EV batteries may already outlive their vehicles.

"Making batteries last even longer is nice of course," they concluded. "But the cost of the battery is at this point far more relevant as it is a significant component of the vehicle cost. Lowering the cost by 50% is a lot. It further de-risks buying electrical vehicles. It was already cost effective but with a reduction like this, you see the benefits much sooner."

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