BAK presents their own 4680 cylindrical cell

The Chinese battery manufacturer BAK Battery presented a cylindrical cell in the 4680 format at a trade fair – the format Tesla wants to rely on in the future. Unfortunately, no details are known about the chemistry of the new BAK cell.

BAK Battery (also known as CBAK or China BAK Battery) wants to send the first samples of its 4680 cell to customers in the automotive industry and other industries this year and produce smaller quantities, as the company announced at the China International Battery Fair (CIBF). Series production is planned for next year at the Chengzhou plant. BAK Battery had also announced in January that it would develop round cells, including the 4680 format, together with JAC.

It is known that the 4680 cell will have a capacity of 25-ampere hours (Ah). A round cell from BAK in the 18650 format (as previously used in the Tesla Model S and X), on the other hand, only has a capacity of 3 Ah.

Larger cells are not completely new for BAK Battery, as the company already offers the formats 32105 and 32140. These formats feature a diameter of 32 millimetres and a length of 105 and 140 millimetres, respectively. These cells are manufactured by BAK “tabless”, i.e. without a tab on the wound cell materials. The 4680 cell from Tesla also has such a “tabless design”, and the Californian company hopes that this will significantly speed up the production process.

So far, BAK offers these cells in three versions: With a cathode made of nickel, cobalt and manganese (NCM), with lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) and lithium manganese (LiMn2O4). Whether the new 4680 cell will also be offered with different or only one cell chemistry is currently unknown.

The BAK cell is the first 4680 cell from a Chinese manufacturer. After Tesla announced at the “Battery Day” in September 2020 that it would rely on this format in the future, Japanese and South Korean cell manufacturers also announced that they were developing a cell in this format – among them Tesla partner Panasonic and LG Chem.


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