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Battery company reveals mass-producible energy storage system with unprecedented capacity — here's the difference it can make

"We are committed to reaching net-zero emissions in our value chain by 2040."

"We are committed to reaching net-zero emissions in our value chain by 2040."

Photo Credit: CATL

CATL, a global leader in EV battery production, revealed its new mass-producible energy storage system that marks a world first in longevity and capacity. Dubbed "Tener," this 20-foot system has a capacity of 6.25 megawatt-hours and can achieve storage with zero degradation over the first five years. 

As anyone with a smartphone, laptop, or even an EV can tell you, battery capacity and lifespan are concerns for any device, especially for power plants that are essential in supplying the grid. 

Tener — the name seemingly a portmanteau combining its size of "twenty feet" with the first letters of "energy" — purportedly offers a 30% increase in energy density, which translates to around 430 watt-hours per liter. 

CATL said the physical footprint is also 20% smaller than before, saving physical space and lowering costs for the industry, which faces challenges supporting an increased flow of renewable power. 

Dongxu Yu of CATL's Energy Storage Technology Center explained that current systems have been impacted by high lifecycle costs caused by mismatched product lifespans and that photovoltaic power stations are restricted by the low capacities of current batteries. 

The Tener system aims to address those issues, which is good news for our future. A recent study showed that the cost of solar power has dropped around 90% over the past decade, and battery storage costs dropped 85% during the same period. More efficient products with greater lifespans will help reduce the number of old battery cells we need to repurpose or recycle.

To achieve this level of efficiency and longevity, CATL has employed technologies such as biomimetic solid electrolyte interphase and self-assembled electrolyte technologies. This cleared the way for lithium-ion movement in LFPs (lithium-based packs) and mitigated the auxiliary power consumption necessary to keep the systems operating over their full life cycle.  

The company has also developed a validation platform to simulate various power grid scenarios and will use "AI-powered risk monitoring and intelligent early warning" tools once Tener units are put into operation to continue optimizing them. 

Shortly after CATL's Tener launch, the company announced a new EV battery that achieves similar milestones in energy density and longevity, specifically for the transportation sector. This new LFP battery called the Shenxing Plus is said to offer a range of 631 miles from a full charge plus a staggering 375 miles from just 10 minutes of 4C superfast charging

That iterates on the original Shenxing, which boasts about 250 miles of charge in 10 minutes of charging. The Chinese battery giant has also recently announced plans for a battery with nearly one million miles of longevity.

Volvo has even signed a strategic partnership with CATL for a greener EV future. The automaker will collect retired batteries for recycling, which will then be used as raw materials for new battery packs, strengthening the sustainability of new initiatives. 

"We are committed to reaching net-zero emissions in our value chain by 2040, which requires the joint efforts of suppliers throughout the industry chain," said Harry Li, vice president in procurement and logistics of Volvo Car Asia Pacific. 

"The cooperation with CATL will further reduce the average carbon emission of an electric vehicle of Volvo Cars over the life cycle, improve the business model for EV battery recycling and reuse, thus setting a milestone demonstration example on the sustainable development of EV battery industry of China."

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