The first electric car with solid-state battery announced has pack with the energy density of a regular one
Recently, one of the electric carmakers in China, DongFeng, announced that it will be delivering the first EVs with a solid-state battery as demo units of its E70 sedan to be used in a taxi fleet. This is an interesting development, to say the least, given that a lot of analysts as well as the world's largest battery maker CATL warn that solid-state batteries are still a pipe dream and won't see mass adoption before 2030. Granted, NIO already announced that its ET7 and ET5 performance electric sedans will have versions with long-range 150 kWh battery packs, but even NIO calls these "semi-solid" batteries still.
Something similar is happening with DongFeng's E70 models and their "first with a solid-state battery" status. Despite that the battery's manufacturer Ganfeng Lithium is also calling the B7A0Y09 and B7A0Y44 packs a "solid state lithium battery module" on its website, the batteries only have a solid electrolyte diaphragm, while the liquid component in them means they are more in the realm of NIO's self-described "semi-solid" state category. In any case, when the E70 sedans were announced, there was no word about their range on a charge or battery density to make a comparison with regular EV batteries.
Now, however, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology catalog of new electric vehicles has revealed that the E70 has a 52.56 kWh battery pack that weighs 335 kg and allows a range of 426 km (264 miles) on a charge. The catalog thus pegs the battery inside to have a rather unimpressive 157 Wh/kg energy density. For comparison, Tesla's 2170 cells in the Panasonic 6752 packs that are in the Model 3 made in America return 260 Wh/kg energy density. Moreover, the figure is quite a bit lower than the battery manufacturer's announced specs, too, which list it as capable of going up to a 210Wh/kg density.
In other words, the E70 doesn't impress when it comes to this metric, yet the semi-solid battery packs have many other virtues such as resistance to puncture and deformation, as well as passing the high temperature endurance tests with flying colors. Ganfeng Lithium also advised that the second generation of its tough "solid-state" batteries will reach energy density of 360 Wh/kg, so that specification is bound to undergo further improvements, too.