Achieving 650 miles of range: how a Chinese EV maximized its 150 kWh battery

A Chinese electric vehicle (EV) with a “semi-solid state” 150kWh battery, the largest in any passenger car, is set to hit the market soon, as reported by Car News China. To demonstrate its range, Nio CEO William Li test drove a prototype of the ET7 for 1,044km (650 miles) in 14 hours, exceeding the range of many gas-powered vehicles.

The test was conducted in relatively cool temperatures ranging from 28 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit and was live-streamed. Driving was primarily in semi-autonomous mode, and the speed was limited to 90 km/h (56 MPH). The average speed during the test was 83.9 km/h (52.4 MPH), and the total travel time was 12.4 hours, not including stops.

According to Li, “The completion of this endurance challenge proves the product power of the 150kWh ultra-long endurance battery pack.” Nio plans to offer the 150kWh battery through their battery swap system, effectively allowing all models to be upgraded.

The 150kWh battery for the ET7 will only be available for lease separate from the car, similar to the offerings in some European countries. Nio had previously stated that the battery alone could cost as much as an entire car or around $42,000.

Manufactured by WeLion New Energy Technology, the battery has a single-cell energy density of 360 Wh/kg (compared to Tesla’s latest cells at under 300 Wh/kg). Semi-solid state batteries are known for their gel, clay, or resin electrolytes, offering increased energy density and fire-resistance. However, they have not yet reached the level of full solid-state batteries, which have the potential to double energy density.

Nio is a luxury EV manufacturer in China that sells vehicles separately from batteries, allowing customers to subscribe to a battery-as-a-service (BAAS) plan. This service also provides the flexibility to swap out batteries for larger ones at any time.

Overall, the introduction of the ET7 with its 150kWh battery is a step forward for Nio and demonstrates the potential for high-capacity, long-endurance batteries in the EV market.