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The future of electric cars revealed: New Chinese car is the first to use "solid state batteries" to trump Toyota, BYD and Tesla

The IM Motors L6 is the first car fitted with the brand's new battery technology.

A little known Chinese car brand has beaten the biggest names in the business in a crucial electric car race.

IM Motors, which is owned by SAIC that also produces MG cars, will be the first car maker to install “solid state batteries” into its production vehicles with the new L6 sedan.

Solid state batteries are believed to be the future of electric cars and do away with some of the biggest problems afflicting EVs.

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There is a catch, though, the batteries used in the coming L6 aren’t fully solid state batteries. The new technology uses a combination of liquid and solid electrolytes to hold energy.

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

There will be variants fitted with conventional lithium-ion batteries, too, that will have a driving range between 700-770km.

The new Chinese brand is focusing on luxury sedans such as its L7.

These range claims are based on the China Light-Duty Vehicle Test Cycle (CLTC), which is much more generous than the widely used Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

However, when the L6 made its global debut at the 2024 Geneva motor show, it was claimed it would have a WLTP driving range of more than 800km when fitted with the semi-solid state batteries. Lithium-ion powered variants will be closer to the 600km range.

IM Motors will launch in Europe in 2025, which shows the brand’s global ambitions, and it will play in the luxury space.

The sharply styled four-door sedan has a sleek silhouette paired with swoopy headlights, flashy alloy wheels and dynamic aerodynamic features.

Large premium SUVs such as the LS7 are a big part of IM Motors' strategy.

It has the muscle to back up its good looks with a claimed 0-100km/h time of less than 3.0 seconds.

“When IM launches in Europe in 2025 it will operate in the premium sector with a clear focus on executive saloons and larger SUVs,” said a statement from MG at its reveal.

Some of IM's models include the LS6 and LS7 SUVs and the L7 sedan.

Several car makers, including Toyota, have been working on fully solid state batteries and count them as the tipping point for when electric cars can fully compete with petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles.

IM Motors is an electric-only car maker.

Some brands are going down different routes.

BYD recently detailed its next generation blade battery that has a claimed driving range of more than 1000km.

The Chinese maker’s LFP batteries differ from conventional lithium-ion cells as they don’t use rare and expensive materials such as cobalt and nickel making them safer, cheaper and more environmentally and ethically friendly.

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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