CATL's Qilin batteries are a hot topic this summer as customers are lining up to get the latest and most energy-dense solution from the world's largest EV battery manufacturer.

The third generation of CATL's cell-to-pack (CTP) battery system first will be used by the Zeekr brand, specifically in the upcoming Zeekr 009 model in Q1 2023 and the Zeekr 001 model in Q2 2023.

However, on the same day, CATL announced also a five-year long-term strategic cooperation agreement with Seres, a Chinese EV manufacturer, which intends to use the Qilin battery system in its new Aito premium EV brand, backed by Huawei.

According to the press release, new Aito models to be equipped with CATL Qilin batteries. We don't know when and what models will be first, though.

"The conclusion of the strategic cooperation agreement is the overall upgrade of the partnership the two parties forged in 2021. As the third-generation CTP technology of CATL, the Qilin batteries to be used on new AITO models marks the highest integration level worldwide for battery systems."

Currently, the offers three models, also powered by CATL (via CnEVPost):

  • Aito M5: EREV model announced in December 2021 and on sale since March
  • Aito M7: EREV SUV model announced in July and on sale since August
  • Aito M5 EV: BEV model announced in July, available for preorder and set for launch in September

CATL notes that the first customers for the Qilin batteries have been announced just 65 days after announcing the new battery system. Series production of the new battery packs will start in early 2023.

CATL is supplying batteries probably to almost all of the Chinese EV manufacturers. We guess that they will gradually switch to newer, better tech, however, the two first brands are among the youngest (both started in 2021) and from the premium segment, which suggest that maybe, at least initially, the Qilin battery system will be sold at a premium.

Among the outstanding stats, the Qilin offers volume utilization efficiency of 72%, energy density of up to 255 Wh/kg (NCM) or over 160 Wh/kg (LFP), and ultra-fast charging at 4C (10-80% SOC in 10 minutes).

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