CATL announced its third-generation CTP battery technology


The world’s biggest battery maker, CATL, announced that its third-generation CTP (cell-to-pack) battery technology is ready for mass production and the official launch is expected in April.


Through continuous technological iteration, CATL has launched the third-generation CTP, which is called Qilin Battery internally. Its system weight, energy density and volumetric energy density continue to stay at the highest level of the industry. With the same chemical system and the same pack size, Qilin can deliver 13% more power than the 4680 battery.

Aiming at the safety of new energy vehicles – more and more enclosed spaces are emerging in our lives now, such as garages, underground parking lots, air-raid shelters, etc. These enclosed spaces feature slow smoke exhaustion, poor lighting, and difficulty in rescue, which poses higher requirements for the safety of battery systems.

If no thermal propagation happens to the system on any single cell failure, the smoke hazard resulting from thermal runaway can be greatly reduced. It is easy to design and install the smoke extraction system based on the smoke production from thermal runaway of single cells in a building. In this way, the safety of new energy vehicles can be greatly improved, thus to protect life and property to the greatest extent.


What’s great about CTP battery packs, is that without modules and excessive cabling, they are easier, faster and cheaper to assemble. The less passive material the better, since what really matters is the active material (battery cells) that actually stores energy. CTP technology is only possible to use with safe battery cells, that don’t easily burn or explode when damaged.


Let’s see the energy density specs of this third generation battery pack technology from CATL.


LFP version (LiFePO4 is cobalt-free)

  • Gravimetric energy density: 160 Wh/kg
  • Volumetric energy density: 290 Wh/L


NCM version (contains cobalt)

  • Gravimetric energy density: 250 Wh/kg
  • Volumetric energy density: 450 Wh/L


Right now the most popular CTP technology with cobalt-free battery cells is the BYD Blade Battery – that started with 140 Wh/kg, but already reached 150 Wh/kg in the long-range version of the BYD Yuan Plus.

Anyway, if the Tesla Model 3 MIC (Made in China) gets its LFP battery packs upgraded to this new technology, the energy density could increase by 28 % – from 125 to 160 Wh/kg. Since CATL is currently the LFP battery cell supplier of Tesla, this could happen soon.

LFP batteries are a great step forward to make electric vehicles mainstream, but now I want to see a CTP battery pack made with sodium-ion cells, because that’s when it’ll be possible to replace the almost 70 million ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars that are made globally every year with electric cars.



More info:

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

29 Responses

  1. Bob says:

    Good to see you back Pedro!

  2. janus says:

    I can confirm that Tesla LFP Supplier is CATL 👍

  3. Filippo says:

    Welcome back Pedro, we missed your interesting in-depth articles so much

  4. Europe says:

    “Gravimetric energy density: 250 Wh/kg”

    Is that for the cell or for the battery pack because if it’s for battery pack then that’s insane.

    Not too much interested in LFP. Would rather have LMNO pack and pay 500-1000€ extra for the car.

  5. Flo says:

    So, do we see the Mercedes EQXX run in April then? Mercedes said the battery cells they’d use for the EQXX would be next gen NCM by CATL.

  6. Benedetto says:

    I found this recent article about sodium-ion batteries :

  7. Pedro Lima says:

    That’s a good summary, thanks.

  8. Flo says:

    So, do we see the Mercedes EQXX run in April then? Mercedes said the battery cells they’d use for the EQXX would be next gen NCM by CATL.

  9. Benedetto says:

    I found this recent article about sodium-ion batteries :

  10. Lambda says:

    Great to have you back! Any news on Gotion/Guoxuan’s stated goals for 230-260 Wh/kg LFP?
    And agreed about CTP sodium-ion, especially if pure sodium anodes are introduced.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Thanks mate. Unfortunately, no news about Guoxuan. Wouldn’t surprise me if Volkswagen was holding them down…

      The good news, is that SVOLT already reached 200 Wh/kg in mass-produced LFP cells. This means that with CTP technology, 180 Wh/kg is possible at the battery pack level.

      • Lambda says:

        Thanks for the info! I remember reading that the 2018 Tesla Model 3 had a gravimetric energy density of 168 Wh/kg at the pack level, so 180 Wh/kg would make nickel cathodes irrelevant for the mass market.

        You mean that VW is holding back Guoxuan because they don’t expect to open the Valencian Sagunto gigafactory until 2026 and so they don’t want other automakers to get their hands on those cells until they are able to scale their entry-level models themselves? Or is it just VW suffusing agile Guoxuan with corporate inertia?

        As for ever-improving LFP energy density, there’s a small chance that I might experience that development first hand near the end of the year. There’s a soon-to-be-founded company looking at scaling cell manufacturing of solid state batteries and they are also looking at LFP. No CATL scale for sure, but very useful developments nonetheless.

        • Pedro Lima says:

          My guess is that Volkswagen doesn’t want the public opinion to know that this mature, safe and cheap cobalt-free battery technology exists. Otherwise, politicians could be forced to ban ICE cars sooner than the auto lobby desires.

          I still remember what the big automakers did with NiMH battery technology.

          • Lambda says:

            Hanlon’s razor seems applicable here: never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity/incompetence. Well, probably a bit of both. In any case, their game will be up once cars the likes of Hozon Auto, Leapmotor, BYD and Xpeng start to arrive in Europe. Which is to say very soon. I would think that would only compel VW to invest more urgently in scaling up LFP battery production.

      • Lambda says:

        Also an interesting announcement from Blackstone Technology regarding sodium-ion cells:

  11. Giuseppi deve morire says:

    Nice for them to mention PushEVs in their article

    : )

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Yeah it’s nice to mention and get mentioned, it’s expected that authors quote their sources.

      So far I only found one author (youtuber) that takes screenshots and reads complete sentences from my articles but doesn’t even acknowledge it. I actually find it funny, because when his audience ask him something, he doesn’t know how to answer.

  12. Giuseppi deve morire says:

    I do have a question about sodium-ion batteries.

    How and where is sodium “produced”?

    I read that sodium, in its elementary metal form, is not found in nature, but only its compositions.

    So I was curious about how sodium ion batteries are made. From salt maybe? Or any othe composition of sodium?

    Sorry for the stupid question 😅

  13. Great article, really informative and well-written!

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