The Chinese battery manufacturer and Volkswagen partner Gotion High-Tech has started series production of battery cells with particularly high energy density. According to the company, the new Gotion cells with a high nickel content achieve an energy density of 302 Wh/kg at cell level and 200 Wh/kg at system level.
According to a report by the Chinese portal CN EV Post, it should be possible to build electric cars with an NEDC range of more than 1,000 kilometres with these cells. In line with this, GAC Aion announced this week that it will offer the Aion LX Plus electric SUV with a new battery in the future. This battery has an energy density of 205 Wh/kg, an energy content of 144.4 kWh and should enable an NEDC range of 1,008 kilometres.
According to the CN EV Post, the Gotion battery will be installed “in a range of mid- to high-end models”. So it is possible that more models with such high NEDC ranges will be announced soon – or their batteries will be smaller and lighter with lower energy content.
The company says it has used lightweight technologies to increase the proportion of active materials in the battery while maintaining the same pack volume. This should lead to the higher energy density. In addition, not only the proportion of active materials in general, but also the proportion of nickel within the material mix is said to have been increased.
As a rule, the higher the nickel content of the cathode material, the higher the energy density. However, since the thermal stability also decreases, the demands on the manufacturing process and also the thermal management in the battery increase. Gotion states that it has improved the stability of the cathode material and the cycle stability “through a series of internally developed technologies”.
It remains to be seen whether the partnership with shareholder Volkswagen will also benefit from this new cell chemistry. Gotion High-Tech is now VW’s partner for the production of the unit cells in Salzgitter. As is well known, the unit cells for the volume segment are to be built there – i.e. with a high manganese content. The unit cells with a high nickel content are built in Europe by Northvolt in Sweden. However, there were also reports in the summer that Gotion in China could build unit cells for the group.
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