SAIC & ChingTao to launch solid-state battery joint venture
The Chinese carmaker SAIC wants to set up a joint venture with its partner ChingTao for the production of solid-state batteries. SAIC plans to use ChingTao’s solid-state batteries in at least 100,000 of its electric vehicles by 2025.
According to a report in the CN EV Post, the joint venture will have a registered capital of one billion yuan (126 million euros), with ChingTao (sometimes referred to as QingTao) holding 51 per cent and SAIC the remaining 49 per cent. According to the shares, ChingTao will also invest 510 million yuan and SAIC 490 million yuan to reach the total amount. In addition, SAIC has invested in ChingTao through several investment rounds and currently holds 15.3 per cent of the company.
The planned establishment of the joint venture for production is not without precedent: last year, both companies had set up a joint laboratory for solid-state batteries. At the time, it was said that the cells would be charged at 4C – theoretically in a quarter of an hour. However, then as now, there are no exact specifications on the type of solid-state technology. In some cases, battery cells with semi-solid or gel-like electrolyte are also referred to as solid-state batteries. Although this already brings some advantages in terms of energy density, it is not the big breakthrough that cells with solid electrolyte and an anode made of metallic lithium promise – but these are considerably more complex to produce.
Tests of the first generation of cells developed by SAIC and ChingTao, which were used in prototypes, have now been completed. They achieved an energy density of 368 Wh/kg at the system level, which allows a maximum range of 1,083 kilometres in the test vehicles – admittedly according to Chinese standards.
As reported, ChingTao began with the construction of a production facility for solid-state batteries in Kunshan in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu last year, which will be designed for an annual capacity of 10 GWh. This is the company’s second factory – ChingTao has had a solid-state lithium battery production line with an annual capacity of 1 GWh since 2020.