Anicet Mbida 06:52, May 31, 2023

Anicet Mbida gives us every morning what is best in innovation. This Tuesday, he is interested in the company CATL which has just presented a technology that doubles the density of current batteries and that could allow the creation of electric aircraft.

Today's innovation is good news for the energy transition. We managed to make a jump in battery density. What does that mean? That we will finally put an end to our autonomy problems?

Almost... But above all, we will be able to consider creating electric aircraft. Which is not nothing.

It should be known, the problem with batteries has always been their density. If you want more autonomy, you need a more battery brush, which takes up more space and weighs MORE. That's why an electric airliner, even a medium-haul one, is unimaginable with today's batteries. It would be far too heavy or it would have to take a third of passengers.

But CATL has just presented a technology that doubles the density of current batteries. Concretely, this means that the weight will be halved for the same autonomy. This changes everything for aviation.

And for the automobile, it will be the same?

Yes, it's the opposite: we will be able to double the autonomy while keeping the same weight. So we will finally exceed the fateful bar of 1000 km. A Tesla Model S, for example, could display 1300 km of range just by changing the battery. So of course, we are talking about a "manufacturer" autonomy. But even divided by two, admit that it would be unprecedented...

It will also be an opportunity to lighten the current vehicles that have become huge with the electric.

To give you an idea, the battery of an electric Hummer (the huge American 4X4), weighs 1.3 tons. Heavier than a Clio or a 208. Just in batteries! Making them lighter would also make cars less dangerous in the event of a collision.

This is not the first time that a revolution in batteries has been announced. Is it really going to happen in cars?

Yes, because it is not a laboratory battery, futuristic... Its production has just begun. Deliveries are scheduled for the end of the year. In addition, it is not made by just anyone. CATL is one of the largest battery manufacturers in the world. One in three electric cars carries its batteries.

So, obviously, they will cost more. They will certainly be reserved for high-end models. But at least we have just blown up a ceiling: that of weight and autonomy that until now blocked the development of electric vehicles.