The Chinese battery manufacturer CATL is presenting its latest lithium iron phosphate battery. The battery, called Shenxing Plus, is said to be the first LFP battery that enables a range of 1,000 km (621 miles) and can also be charged very quickly (at 4C), writes CATL. However, the 1,000 km probably refers to the range according to the Chinese standard (CLTC).

The charging rate of 4C means that the entire battery could be charged in a quarter of an hour - but only if this charging rate were to be maintained over the entire SoC (state of charge) range. CATL is silent on the maximum charging power and the storage capacity of the battery.

However, the YouTube video of the presentation published by CATL (see above) states that the battery can be charged from 20 to 80 per cent in 10 minutes. Another 10 minutes is enough to recharge the battery for 600 kilometres (373 miles).

Shenxing Plus battery: recharge for 600 km in 10 minutes

Shenxing Plus battery: recharge for 600 km in 10 minutes

To enable the high charging rate, a coating with high lithium-ion conductivity is used (presumably for the electrodes), transition metal elements are added (presumably at the cathode) and a new nanotechnology is used at the anode and cathode. CATL has also improved the cooling system in order to dissipate heat quickly during charging.  

In order to achieve the high energy density, a "granular gradation technology" is used in the production of the cathode. This allows particles just a few nanometres in size to be brought into the optimum position. At the presentation of the Shenxing battery, it was already stated that layered electrodes with multiple gradients were used. A 3D honeycomb structure is also used at the anode, which also increases the energy density and at the same time keeps volume expansion in check during charging and discharging cycles.

Shenxing Plus battery from CATL: 205 Wh per kilo

The Shenxing Plus battery from CATL has an energy density of 205 Wh/kg at battery pack level

Another trick: the prismatic cell housing consists of a single piece. CATL also dispenses with modules and assembles the cells directly into the battery. The company's own third-generation cell-to-pack technology (CTP 3.0), which is also used in CATL's Qilin battery, is used for this. CTP 3.0 is designed to increase packing efficiency by 7 per cent. Overall, the battery offers an energy density of 205 watt hours per kilo, which is slightly more than the 190 Wh/kg of BYD's new blade battery.

The Shenxing battery has only been available since March, and now the successor battery is already arriving

The Shenxing Plus battery is apparently the successor to the Shenxing battery presented in August 2023, which can also be charged with 4C, but is only supposed to provide a range of 700 km (435 miles). This is currently being used by four models, including the Zeekr 001, said CATL's head electric car battery developer Gao Huan. More than 50 models are to be equipped with the Shenxing battery by the end of the year, according to Gao.

The bottom line

The two largest battery manufacturers in the world, CATL and BYD, are competing for the best LFP battery. The recently presented new generation of BYD's blade battery has an energy density of 190 Wh/kg, while CATL offers 205 Wh/kg in the new version of its Shenxing battery. BYD did not provide any information on the charging speed of the new blade battery - so it is quite possible that CATL is currently ahead in terms of energy density and charging speed.

Gallery: CATL Shenxing Plus LFP Battery