The Chinese startup Greater Bay Technology claims its latest EV battery can charge at normal speeds even in cold temperatures. Huang Xiangdong, co-founder and chairman, says the company’s new Phoenix cell uses superconducting materials and thermal management to heat from -4F to 77F in only five minutes, allowing the battery to charge “within six minutes in all weather conditions,” according to Bloomberg. “The Phoenix battery not only addresses the long charging time for EVs, but other pain points,” Huang said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a hot day or a cold day, the Phoenix battery’s range won’t be affected.”
A loss of charging efficiency in cold weather has been a persistent obstacle in the EV battery space. Other automakers, including Polestar and GM, have tackled the problem by adding heat pumps — and German company ZF even prototyped a heated seat belt (or “heat belt”) to reduce the energy used for cabin heating.
The new Phoenix cell allegedly has a range of 1,000 km (621 miles). The company expects to launch the battery to the public next year in electric vehicles from Aion, China’s third most popular EV brand. (Aion falls under the umbrella of the state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Corporation, which Greater Bay Technology is incubated within.) In addition, Greater Bay Technology is reportedly “in talks with other carmakers to use the cell.” Summarizing Huang’s long-term vision, he said, “Once EVs can be driven and maintained like gasoline cars, then there’s a greater chance for mass adoption.”
Greater Bay Technology is a two-year-old startup valued at over $1 billion. Its first-generation battery is an extreme fast-charging cell currently equipped in Aion’s V Plus electric SUV.