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A Chinese EV squeezed 650 miles of range from its 150 kWh battery

Steve Dent

Dec 18, 2023

Mass production of the new battery will begin in April 2024.

An EV from Chinese manufacturer Nio will soon go on sale with a "semi-solid state" 150kWh battery (140kWh usable) that's the largest in any passenger car, Car News China reported. To show much range that will deliver, Nio CEO William Li drove a prototype version of the ET7 1,044km (650 miles) in 14 hours, a distance surpassing many gas-powered vehicles.

The test was run in relatively cool temperatures (between 28 – 54 F) and livestreamed.

Driving was done mainly in semi-autonomous (or Navigate-on-Pilot+, as Nio calls it), and speed-limited to 90 km/h (56 MPH). The average speed was 83.9 km/h (a respectable 52.4 MPH), with a travel time of 12.4 hours excluding stops.

"The completion of this endurance challenge proves the product power of the 150kWh ultra-long endurance battery pack," said Li in a Weibo post (Google translation). "More importantly, all models on sale can be flexibly upgraded to 150kWh batteries through the Nio battery swap system."

In fact, the ET7's 150kWh battery will only be available on a lease separate from the car, much as we've seen with some cars sold in Europe. Previously, the company said that the battery alone would cost as much as an entire car (the company's entry-level ET5 EV), or around $42,000.

Manufactured by WeLion New Energy Technology, the battery has a single-cell energy density of 360 Wh/kg or 260 Wh/kg for the entire pack (Tesla's latest cells are under 300 Wh/kg). Semi-solid state batteries use gel, clay or resin electrolytes, offering greater energy density and fire-resistance than current batteries. However, they're still far from the promised land of full solid-state batteries, which could feasibly double energy density.

We likely won't see the 150kWh battery pack stateside, though. With the Biden administration's latest rules, some US cars like Tesla's Model 3 Long Range that use specific Chinese battery components will no longer receive the full $7,500 tax credit.

Nio is a luxury EV manufacturer in China that offers vehicles without a battery, letting you sign up to a battery-as-a-service (BAAS) monthly subscription. That service also allows you to swap out your battery at any time for a larger one.

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