First 150 kWh semi solid-state battery range test clocks 653 miles on a charge as it streamed live from NIO ET7

First 150 kWh semi solid-state battery range test clocks 653 miles on a charge as it streamed live from NIO ET7
ET7 150 kwh hybrid solid-liquid battery range testing (image: NIO/Weibo)
ET7 150 kwh hybrid solid-liquid battery range testing (image: NIO/Weibo)

It took many months of delay, but the 150 kWh semi-solid-state electrolyte battery pack with 600+ miles of range is now in a production ET7. None other than NIO’s chief is taking it on a country trip to test the range and live streaming the experience.

UPDATE: The semi solid-state battery range test streamed live by NIO’s CEO is now complete. It took about 14 hours to cover 652.5 miles on a charge before the test was stopped with the pack at 3%.

NIO’s CEO William Li has decided to demonstrate the real range of the company’s 150 kWh semi solid-state battery pack by driving out from Shanghai until the battery dies, and streaming the whole trip live. It’s been more than 12 hours and he is still going on the highway with 30% left and more than 430 miles covered, so the battery may prove its 600-mile range mettle, after all.

The drive is done in NIO’s big performance ET7 sedan that is a direct competitor to the Tesla Model S and has been inspired by a recent run in Europe that had the car complete a 3,750-mile trip in 72 hours and 51 minutes thanks to the company’s battery swap station network.

Needless to say, the top ET7 trim with the 150 kWh battery won’t need nearly as many swaps, but it is the chemistry of the pack that is interesting here. NIO reportedly went to the world’s biggest EV battery maker CATL and asked it to make its cells with solid-state electrolyte diaphragm, silicon composite anode, and a high-nickel cathode for longer range on a charge regardless of the weather conditions.

CATL, however, answered that the R&D phase and the new production lines and chemistries will take too much time and money to be as commercially viable as its other contracts like those with Tesla for the Model 3 and Model Y which were piling up. NIO then turned to a much smaller and nimbler competitor – WeLion New Energy Technology – with which it co-developed its first hybrid solid-liquid battery with a class leading 360 Wh/kg energy density.

It was supposed to enter pilot production way back in 2021 while the first vehicles with it were supposed to appear this summer. Cost overruns and production challenges caused a significant delay, but the performance battery pack with more than 600 miles of range seems finally ready for retail judging from all the coffee stops NIO’s CEO is making on the way to exhaust the semi solid-state ET7 battery.

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Daniel Zlatev, 2023-12-17 (Update: 2023-12-17)

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