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Breakthrough Battery Powers Car For 649 Miles

An electric car maker in China has demonstrated a new battery capable of powering a vehicle for more than 1,000km on a single charge.

Nio all-electric ET7
Nio all-electric ET7 | Credit: Nio

This is not a demo of some distant promise as Shanghai-based Nio says that the next-generation battery will enter mass production in April 2024, offering a longer range than any other electric or, remarkably, any fuel-powered car currently on the market.

Nio chief executive William Li drove the all-electric ET7 vehicle 1,044km (649 miles) during a 14-hour live-stream, which tracked the car from Zhejiang province to Fujian province at an average speed of 52 mph (84km/h).

“The completion of this endurance challenge proves the product power of the 150kWh ultra-long endurance battery pack,” Mr Li wrote in a post on the Chinese social media site Weibo.

“This battery is currently the battery pack with the highest energy density in mass production in the world and has excellent safety performance. More importantly, all models on sale can be flexibly upgraded to 150kWh batteries through the Nio battery swap system.”

Nio takes an unorthodox approach to charging vehicles, favouring a battery-swap system rather than plugging the car into an outlet and waiting for the battery to recharge. A unique mechanism built into the vehicle means that an empty battery can be swapped with a fully charged battery in less than three minutes - roughly the amount of time it takes to refill a fuel-powered vehicle.

Customers are able to buy a vehicle without a battery - thus saving about 30 to 40 percent of the purchase price of the car - and then pay a monthly subscription fee to use batteries within Nio’s network.

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