Li Auto is planning a large-scale HPC charging network in China

Li Auto has recently announced plans to build more than 10,000 of its own fast-charging stations in China by 2025. That is more than three times as many as Li Auto officially announced in April 2023. On 1 March, the company known for its range extender drives will launch its first battery-electric model.

Image: Li Auto

Several Chinese media outlets cite a leaked plan from the company to provide information on the 10,000 or so fast-charging stations planned by next year. According to Li Auto, it currently has 332 fast-charging stations in China (as of the end of January 2024). According to the CN EV Post portal, the car manufacturer wants to accelerate its charging network expansion plans by “allowing partnerships with third parties”, among other things.

According to the amended plan, Li Auto is aiming for more than 4,000 fast-charging stations by 2024, covering 90 per cent of major Chinese cities and achieving a market share of 11 per cent. In the coming year, the network is also to be extended to less developed cities and reach a good 10,000 stations.

According to earlier information, each Li Auto station will have a 4C charging station and three regular fast-charging stations. A press photo now even suggests a charging rate of 5C. The background to this is that the company, which previously specialised in hybrid models with range extenders (EREV), announced five BEV models by 2025 at the latest Auto China in Shanghai, which will be based on an 800-volt platform. For the first of the planned BEV models, the electric van Mega, Li Auto is relying on particularly fast-charging (5C) Qilin batteries from CATL. The C-rate sets the maximum charging power in relation to the energy content of the battery. With the 102.7 kWh energy content announced for the Mega, the battery should therefore be able to be charged with over 500 kW.

Zeekr relies on the Qilin battery. The installation of the third generation, which was presented in June 2022 and has been in production since this spring, has been confirmed. Li Auto’s statement can therefore be interpreted to mean that this could be the fourth generation of battery technology. However, this has not been confirmed. In any case, the maximum charging capacity for the Mega is stated as “more than 520 kW”.

Li Auto started series production in November 2019. The model range consists of several SUVs with five, six or seven seats, all of which still have a range extender combustion engine. However, the young company has been quite successful so far: Li Auto delivered 31,165 vehicles in January alone.


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