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Major EV breakthrough: Chinese brand Nio testing electric car with 1000km range to battle Mercedes-Benz EQE and Tesla Model S

Nio's ET7 will be fitted with semi-solid state batteries.

Chinese carmakers are on the cusp of something big.

Nio is the latest car brand in the past few weeks to detail its future battery technology that can deliver a driving range in excess of 1000km.

According to CarNewsChina, a Tesla Model S-rivalling Nio ET7 large sedan completed three test runs in excess of 1000km successfully using a “semi-solid state” battery.

The tests were conducted in a range of temperatures, travelled across significant altitude changes and had an average speed of about 80km/h. 

Low temperatures, hills and high speeds dramatically decrease an EVs range.

These semi-solid state cells use a combination of liquid and solid electrolytes to hold energy.

Fully solid state batteries use a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid or gel used in conventional units.

Solid state batteries are smaller, faster to charge and more energy dense than current lithium-ion batteries.

The report out of China said the Nio ET7 used a monster 150kWh battery, but it weighed only 20kg more than the brand’s current 100kWh lithium-ion battery. 

Nio has reportedly started production of the new batteries.

This means the semi-solid batteries can hold about 50 per cent more energy per kg than current technology.

Nio is one of the few Chinese electric car brands to sell vehicles outside of China, having secured a toehold in Europe.

The tech-savvy brand is best known for its battery swap technology.

Instead of asking owners to just recharge their cars, the company has developed a network of facilities where cars can easily have their depleted batteries swapped out for a fully juiced unit.

The maker has reportedly started production of the batteries and they will be rolled out in China in the next few months.

The T7 with semi solid state batteries is expected to make its official debut at this week’s Beijing auto show.

Nio has a luxury focus.

Nio isn’t the only Chinese company close to fitting its vehicles with the emerging technology.

Last week IM Motors, which is owned by SAIC that also produces MG cars, revealed it was fitting its latest electric car with semi-solid state batteries.

IM Motors claims its new L6 will have a claimed driving range of 1000km per charge with the semi-solid state batteries.

BYD has gone a different path and managed to squeeze out more than 1000km of range from its next-generation Blade LFP batteries.

The new batteries are lighter, smaller and more efficient than current versions and BYD has claimed to have increased battery capacity by more than 30 per cent.

BYD is one of the leading manufacturers of lithium-iron phosphate batteries - otherwise known as LFP - that don’t use expensive and rare minerals such as nickel and cobalt. These batteries are also claimed to be safer and less likely to catch fire.

Dom Tripolone
News Editor
Dom is Sydney born and raised and one of his earliest memories of cars is sitting in the back seat of his dad's BMW coupe that smelled like sawdust. He aspired to be a newspaper journalist from a young age and started his career at the Sydney Morning Herald working in the Drive section before moving over to News Corp to report on all things motoring across the company's newspapers and digital websites. Dom has embraced the digital revolution and joined CarsGuide as News Editor, where he finds joy in searching out the most interesting and fast-paced news stories on the brands you love. In his spare time Dom can be found driving his young son from park to park.
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