Chinese solid state battery maker promises 2,000 km range

Tailan New Energy, a Chinese company developing solid-state lithium battery technology, has disclosed significant advancements in its latest prototype cell. In its most recent announcement, the researchers point to an extremely high energy density, aiming to deliver a 2,000-kilometer range for BEVs on a single charge.

Tailan isn’t one of the household names in solid-state battery development. Even a Google search won’t bring up a list of clear-cut results—but ‘tailan’ means ‘talent’. The company, which nicknames itself “a solid-state battery populariser,” was only founded five years ago and is not affiliated with an automotive car maker like QuantumScape and Volkswagen, Storedot and Volvo, or Solidpower and BMW.

New benchmarks

But at its heart sits a team of seasoned battery experts who claim to have found a breakthrough in the development of solid-state cells. There hasn’t been a shortage of such promises in the sector. Tailan’s innovation was revealed in a press release. The company has achieved a notable 120 Ah solid-state lithium metal cell, which is said to set new benchmarks in energy density and storage capacity.

The prototype boasts an extraordinary energy density of 720 Wh/kg, doubling the capacity of similar batteries used in China’s passenger EVs, like those made by WeLion for NIO. The latter reaches 360 Wh/kg but uses a semi-solid battery (still using a gel electrolyte rather than a solid ionic conductor).

Tailan’s advancements suggest the potential to significantly extend the driving range of EVs, propelling them to 2,000 kilometers on a single charge. You could reach Sevilla from Brussels on a single charge. The firm asserts that its all-solid-state battery cells meet vehicle-grade standards but hasn’t disclosed any tie-up with an automaker.

Tailan attributes these impressive specifications to its use of ultra-thin and dense composite oxide solid electrolytes (also used by Toyota and Samsung), high-capacity electrode materials, and an innovative integrated molding process. The company claims this technology can lift industry standards and calls the cell a ‘world’s first’.

Mass-production planned

The word prototype should never be underestimated in a research context. However, the company already has the funding and plans for mass production, with a 10GWh capacity factory starting next year at a starting cost comparable to liquid lithium-ion cells and even lower as mass production builds up. This would mean that China beats the competition to mass-produce “true” solid-state technology, which is often forecast for the decade’s end.

But the competition is making strides as well. Last month, QuantumScape announced it started shipping Alfa-2 cells of its solid-state technology to automotive customers, advancing its goals. These cells are reportedly in the 350-400 Wh/kg range, and the company can bow on positive feedback from its first-generation prototypes. Moving from laboratory to higher-scale production is also envisioned for 2025 if customer feedback remains positive.


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