Zeekr gives its 001 the CATL Qilin battery

In China, Geely’s premium electric brand Zeekr is now offering its 001 with CATL’s Qilin battery for the first time in the new 2023 model year. This battery option with a capacity of 140 kWh increases the range of the Zeekr 001 to up to 1,032 kilometres according to Chinese standards.

The 001 with the new battery is initially only available in a special model limited to 1,000 units. This model comes with a surcharge of 103,000 yuan (about 14,000 euros). This means that this version of the Zeekr 001 starts at 403,000 yuan, currently 55,150 euros.

With the batteries in the conventional design with battery modules as an intermediate step, the 001 is still available with pack sizes of 86 or 100 kWh. This allows CLTC ranges of 546 and 741 kilometres, respectively. The 001 is based on Geely’s SEA platform and is a 4.97-metre-long Shooting Brake. With two electric motors, Zeekr’s debut model has an output of 400 kW, but there is also a variant with only one motor. The Qilin battery is only offered with the rear motor to achieve a range of over 1,000 kilometres.

According to data filed with the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the new battery pack has a gravimetric energy density of 200 Wh/kg and weighs 727 kilograms. The entire vehicle weighs 2,345 kilograms with this battery.

Zeekr is reportedly the first electric car manufacturer to use CATL’s latest cell-to-pack battery technology, unveiled in June 2022, in the 001 as well as the 009 electric van.

With the third generation of CtP technology, CATL claims to have set a record for volume-based usage efficiency at over 72 per cent. With the first generation of cell-to-pack technology (CtP), this was still at 50 per cent. With an energy density of 200 Wh/kg, Zeekr is still not fully exploiting the Qilin battery technology. When it was announced in the summer, CATL quoted up to 255 Wh/kg with NMC cells – and up to 160 Wh/kg with LFP cells.