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Chinese Automaker Could Beat Everyone To Solid-State Battery Tech

Key Takeaways

  • SAIC Motor to introduce solid-state batteries in EVs by 2026, ahead of other car companies’ schedules.
  • IM L6, SAIC’s first solid-state EV to launch this year with a range of 620 miles.
  • The race to mass produce solid-state batteries in EVs is heating up.

SAIC Motor, the largest state-owned Chinese automaker, has announced that it is currently in development of solid-state batteries. More importantly, the said tech will become available in its EVs as early as 2026, beating the current schedule of every other car company.

The Chinese car brand announced its plan during its New Energy Technology conference, Shine reports. SAIC officials claim that the batteries will be installed on all its brands’ EVs and hybrids. SAIC auto brands include IM (Zhiji in Chinese), Maxus, Rising Auto, Roewe, Baojun, Wuling, Hongyan, and Sunwin. It also owns the British brand MG, maker of the Cyberster EV roadster and, more recently, the EX181, a wild-looking electric hypercar.

First Solid-State EV Will Come Out This Year

Reports stated that the first SAIC EV to be equipped with a solid-state battery is the IM L6, a Tesla Model 3 fighter that will be sold in China starting in October this year. It’s advertised to have a range of 620 miles on a single charge. Its 900V ultra-fast charging solid-state battery was jointly developed by SAIC and its subsidiary, Qingtao Energy.

Solid-state batteries are regarded as the future of EVs and the secret to making them more affordable. They are touted to be safer, have a higher energy density, and can be charged faster. Not everyone agrees, though, as Contemporary Amperex Technology Company Limited (CATL), the world’s largest battery manufacturer, claimed that solid-state batteries were unsafe.

IM Motors

The Race Is On

If SAIC’s timeline is to be believed, it is currently at the forefront of the race to mass produce solid-state batteries in EVs. Several automakers are already on the grid, with Toyota leading the way with the highest number of solid-state battery patents. The Japanese marque previously said its solid-state batteries will reach mass production in 2030 – same as BMW, which is expected to introduce the technology with its Neue Klasse EVs.

Meanwhile, Nissan claimed an earlier 2028 deadline, while Volkswagen could even go earlier with its partnership with QuantumScape. The German automaker has already introduced a prototype boasted to exceed all expectations, including battery reliability.

Solid-State Battery Prototype

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