On September 23, Chinese auto maker and Huawei’s vehicle manufacturing partner Seres said on an investor interaction platform that it is working with CATL on the new M3P battery. This new battery will not only significantly reduce costs but also reduce reliance on resources such as cobalt and other precious metals while enhancing performance and range.
In the current new energy vehicle market, lithium iron phosphate and ternary lithium batteries are the two most commonly used battery types. Lithium iron phosphate batteries have the advantage of a longer life, safer use, faster charging, cheaper price, among other benefits. Its disadvantages, however, are smaller energy density, poorer electrical conductivity and temperature performance. At present, these sorts of battiers mostly used in lower-priced models, such as the current best-selling BYD Qin PLUS and BYD Song PLUS.
Ternary lithium batteries have the advantage of smaller sizes, higher capacities and densities, lower temperature resistance and better cycling performance, while its disadvantages include poorer thermal stability. Currently, it is mostly used in high-priced car models, such as the performance version of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y.
The M3P battery was developed by CATL based on a new materials system. Its energy density reaches 210Wh/kg, which is about 15% higher than that of lithium iron phosphate batteries. Its cost is about the same as that of a lithium iron phosphate battery and lower than that of a teralithium battery. The cathode material of CATL’s M3P battery is mixed with ternary lithium materials and lithium ferromanganese phosphate materials, which helps solve problems with a short cycle life and large internal resistance of lithium ferromanganese phosphate batteries.
At the 2022 World EV & ES Battery Conference held in July, Wu Kai, chief scientist at CATL, said the company’s M3P battery has been mass produced and will be put into market next year. CATL will divide new energy vehicles into three segments with a 1000km range, 700km range and a 300-500km range. For models with the 700km range, CATL’s solution is to provide an M3P cell battery based on Kirin’s battery structure.
According to the agreement signed by Seres and CATL in August, AITO models of Seres will be fully equipped with CATL’s Kirin battery.
Seres sold 14,600 new energy vehicles in August, with a year-on-year growth of 310.77%. Among them, the delivery volume of the AITO series reached 10,045 units in August, exceeding 10,000 units for the first time, with a year-on-year growth of 1,277.91%.
In order to support the delivery of AITO models in cooperation with Huawei, Seres is also actively expanding production capacity. According to its announcement on September 18, the management committee of Chongqing Liangjiang New Area will invest in manufacturing plants, infrastructure and related equipment for Seres’ 2,700 mu (180 hectares) automotive industrial park. The above agreement means that the third Seres factory will be officially located in Chongqing.
Before that, Seres had already owned two factories designed with Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing standards. One of them has a designed capacity of 30 jobs per hour (JPH), and the other one will be put into operation in the second half of 2022 with a designed capacity of over 30 JPH.