CATL, the world's biggest lithium-ion EV battery manufacturer, announced the third generation of its cell-to-pack CTP battery system, internally called Kirin or Qilin.
The CTP is a system that utilizes prismatic battery cells that are combined into packs without modules to reduce complexity, weight, space and cost.
The latest CTP 3.0 will be available in two versions, for LFP and NCM battery cell chemistries, offering quite competitive energy density:
≥ 160 Wh/kg
≥ 290 Wh/l
≥ 250 Wh/kg
≥ 450 Wh/l
CATL says even that the Kirin battery can achieve 13% higher "power" on the pack level than the "4680 system," assuming the same cell chemistry and pack size. There is no word about Tesla, but it obviously points at Tesla's 4680-type cylindrical battery cells. Without viewing full specs of both types, we are not in a position to evaluate the differences.
According to the Chinese company, CTP 3.0 is ready for mass production, and its official market launch is expected in April.
One of the images presents also a modular CTP system, which, depending on the vehicle type, can use 1, 2 or 3 CTP packs:
Wu Kai, CATL's chief scientist, hinted also that in 2023 we will see mass production systems that allow 1,000 km (621 miles) of range on a single charge.
The CTP 3.0 vs others
For reference, the BYD Blade Battery (LFP and CTP) was estimated at 140-150 Wh/kg in the case of the BYD Yuan model.
PushEVs.com points out that if Tesla would use the CATL's new batteries in the Made-in-China (MIC) Model 3/Model Y entry-level versions (instead of its current CATL's LFP cells and own battery pack) it could noticeably increase the range - by as much as 28%, assuming improvement from 125 to 160 Wh/kg.
We don't know how accurate the estimations of potential gains are, but for sure there is a chance for some improvements, which would translate into a higher range.