Car video reviews:

CATL States Its Kirin CTP Method Delivers 13% More Energy Density than 4680 Cells

When rumors stated that Tesla would present a 1-million-mile (1.6-million-kilometer) battery, CATL disclosed its cells would endure 2 million kilometers (1.243 million miles). Despite that, Tesla bought LFP cells from CATL, probably because it had no other choice. CATL teased Tesla again, now with its 4680 cells.
CATL states its Kirin battery pack will present more energy density than one made with 4680 cells 9 photos
CATL LFP CellsCATLCATL LFP CellsCATL LFP CellsCATLCATL LFP CellsCATL FactoryCATL states its Kirin battery pack will present more energy density than one made with 4680 cells
According to the Chinese supplier, its Kirin CTP packing method delivers 13% more energy density for the same volume and with the same chemistry compared to the 4680 cell format. Although other companies may also eventually use 4680 ternary batteries, Tesla plans to be the first one to use them… when they are ready.

The first vehicle supposed to have them was the Tesla Model Y made at Giga Grünheide. Some analyses of pictures taken from the cars in the German production lines show it does not even present the front casting it was supposed to have. Tesla fans hope the Model Y made in Giga Austin will have them and keep canceling their orders, hoping to have the new battery in their cars. Tesla has not confirmed that will be the case.

Regarding the CATL Kirin, the deal lies in its construction method. CTP is the acronym for cell-to-pack, meaning that the battery pack skips the need for battery modules. The own cells are part of the pack's structure, which opens space for the use of more active material, hence increasing the energy density.

CTP is more frequently seen with LFP batteries. For ternary cells to be used in this assembly method, they need to be prismatic. That is precisely what the image released by CATL shows: six columns of twenty prismatic batteries or 120 prismatic cells in the Kirin battery pack.

Considering CATL’s prismatic cells range from 3.2V to 3.7V, this Kirin battery pack would present something between 384V to 444V. If it followed the standard of 4.2V, the battery pack would offer 504V. That’s on par with most EVs sold nowadays, apart from some that work at 800V or even 924V, like the Lucid Air.

With LFP cells, the Kirin CTP could provide 160 Wh/kg or 290Wh/l. With the NMC chemistry, that number reaches 250 Wh/kg or 450 Wh/l. Remember that we are talking about the energy density of the battery pack, not of the individual cells. If that were the case, CATL’s tech would be beaten even by the 2170 cells that Tesla uses in its current cars, which deliver around 260 Wh/kg.

CATL also spoke about a 1,000-km (621-mi) range technology at the 2022 China EV Council 100 Forum. According to Wu Kai, this solution will be available in 2023. The company’s chief scientist also stated that it would have CATL’s non-thermal diffusion tech will be incorporated into this battery pack. This technology has existed since September 2020, and it claims to prevent fires thanks to directional thermal conductivity properties.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories