Beijing-based WeLion New Energy is working with electric vehicle maker NIO to launch a hybrid solid-liquid electrolyte battery with a range of 1,000 kilometers on a single charge and based on the ET7 model. The announcement was issued by Li Hong, chief scientist and founder of the solid-state battery supplier WeLion, during comments at the China EV 100 Forum. This battery is expected to enter mass production by the end of this year or the first half of next year.
As early as January 9 last year, NIO said it planned to launch a battery pack with a capacity of 150 kWh and an energy density of 360 Wh/kg. William Li, NIO‘s founder, chairman and CEO, clarified that its solid-state battery is more accurately described as a semi-solid-state battery.
Semi-solid-state batteries contain a certain amount of liquid electrolytes, while all-solid lithium batteries only contain solid electrolytes.
Considering the practical difficulties that arise when attempting to achieve the mass production of solid-state batteries and the urgent demand of new energy vehicles for high-energy density power batteries, the industry regards semi-solid-state batteries as a transitional scheme for the eventual development of solid-state batteries.
Information on WeLion’s website shows that it was founded in 2016 and is based in Beijing, focusing on the development and production of hybrid electrolyte lithium-ion batteries and all-solid-state lithium batteries. It has three production bases in Beijing, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. In November of last year, domestic tech giants Xiaomi and Huawei jointly invested in WeLion for a total of about 500 million yuan ($78 million).
WeLion’s early business focused on consumer electronics, then entered NIO‘s supply chain. This is the first time that NIO has introduced a second battery supplier since it began cooperation with China’s leading battery firm, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL).