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China creates groundbreaking electric car battery that fully charges in just 10 minutes

ByYasmeeta Oon

May 20, 2024

China creates groundbreaking electric car battery that fully charges in just 10 minutes

China has developed a revolutionary car battery that can charge in just 10 minutes and power a car for hundreds of miles before needing to be plugged in.

A report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) has hailed the “remarkable” advancements in battery chemistry that have enabled China to produce batteries with far greater energy density than existing technologies. These breakthroughs have positioned China as a leader in the electric vehicle (EV) sector, raising both opportunities and concerns globally.

  • Enhanced Battery Range: New EV batteries can travel up to 250 miles without a recharge.
  • Advanced Versions: Latest versions, such as the Shenxing Plus, can achieve ranges of 600 miles.
  • Fast Charging Capability: The Shenxing battery can deliver 400 km of range from a ten-minute charge.
  • Global Supply Chain Concerns: China’s dominance in the supply of critical battery materials could disrupt global net zero rollouts.

Advancements in Chinese EV Battery Technology

Battery ModelCharging TimeRangeAvailability
Shenxing Battery10 minutes400 km (250 miles)Later this year
Shenxing Plus10 minutes965 km (600 miles)Announced

The IEA’s Global Critical Minerals Outlook emphasized that Chinese battery company CATL has developed a fast-charging “Shenxing” battery. This innovative battery is set to be integrated into electric vehicles later this year, providing a substantial leap forward in the efficiency and usability of EVs.

The report credits China’s series of breakthroughs in battery chemistry for its current dominance. One of the most significant developments has been the resurgence of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode chemistry. Innovations have nearly doubled the energy density by eliminating dead space within the batteries, massively extending the range of EVs. This technological advancement is expected to alleviate “range anxiety”—a common concern among EV drivers about the limited distance their vehicles can travel on a single charge.

While these advancements are promising for EV technology, the IEA report also raised alarms about China’s control over the supply of vital materials needed to build these batteries. China’s dominance in the global market for minerals like lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, and copper could pose significant risks to global supply chains. The report stated that over 90% of battery-grade graphite and 77% of refined rare earths will originate from China by 2030.

Global Supply Chain Risks

  • Extreme Weather: Natural disasters could disrupt supply routes.
  • Trade Disputes: International conflicts could affect material availability.
  • Geopolitical Issues: Political tensions might impact the supply chain stability.

The report also highlighted that between now and 2030, approximately 70-75% of the projected supply growth for refined lithium, nickel, cobalt, and rare earth elements is expected to come from the top three producers, predominantly China. For battery-grade spherical and synthetic graphite, almost 95% of growth is projected to come from China.

These high levels of supply concentration represent a risk for the speed of energy transitions. The vulnerability of supply chains to disruptions—whether from extreme weather, trade disputes, or geopolitical issues—could hinder the global push towards net zero emissions.

China’s massive domestic market and the subsidies offered to consumers have significantly boosted the country’s EV sector. The report revealed that 60% of all EVs sold globally last year were bought by Chinese consumers. This domestic market strength has been a key factor in China’s global dominance.

China’s Global Market Share in Critical Minerals (2030 Projection)

MineralGlobal Market Share
Battery-grade Graphite90%
Refined Rare Earths77%
Refined Lithium, Nickel, Cobalt, Rare Earths70-75%

Western governments are increasingly concerned about Beijing’s grip on the green energy market. The IEA report examined worldwide supply, demand, and uses for minerals essential for low-carbon energy production. While the supply of most such metals is increasing, the markets are still heavily dominated by China.

China’s influence extends beyond EV batteries to other critical technologies essential for the energy transition. For instance, China supplies 90% of the global market for solar panels. The country also leads in the production of electrolysers for hydrogen generation, wind turbines, and associated infrastructure such as transformers and cabling. These technologies all rely on the same set of critical minerals, further entrenching China’s dominant position.

The deployment of new technologies has given EVs greater range and faster charging times without significantly increasing battery size. This advancement has been crucial in overcoming the “range anxiety” that has long deterred consumers, particularly in Europe, from switching to electric vehicles. With the new Shenxing Plus battery offering up to 600 miles between recharges, drivers can look forward to less frequent refueling and lower costs.

Benefits of New Battery Technology

  • Extended Range: Up to 600 miles on a single charge.
  • Fast Charging: 400 km range from a ten-minute charge.
  • Cost Efficiency: Lower refueling costs compared to current EVs.

China’s advancements in EV battery technology represent a significant leap forward for the automotive industry, promising extended ranges, faster charging times, and greater energy efficiency. However, the IEA report highlights the potential risks associated with China’s dominance in the supply of critical minerals necessary for these technologies. As the world transitions towards greener energy solutions, these supply chain vulnerabilities must be addressed to ensure a stable and sustainable future for global energy transitions.

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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