When it comes to getting an electrified vehicle, the biggest concerns are always the lifespan of the battery pack, the cost of replacing the battery cells when its time (usually about 8 years), and also the pure electric driving range, which determine how much money is going to leave your bank account, and how often the car needs to be charged on a daily basis.
Imagine having to travel long distance – You will have to come up with a very detailed plan for your journey, and check if there are charging stations along your route, and then decide where and when to charge.
This is because most PHEV and electric cars in the market right now come with a pure EV driving range that is quite limited. In case you’re wondering, the electric car with the longest driving range in the world right now is the Tesla Model S which can cover about 600km which may take us to Penang and back from KL, but in bigger countries, that distance is nothing phenomenal.
Simply put in Malaysian lingo – its “scared battery cannot tahan” and “scared battery very expensive”.
However, all that is about to change in the near future as Comtemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL), the world's largest EV battery maker which currently supplies Tesla, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Daimler with EV batteries, has developed a battery that can last for 16 years, and power a vehicle for 2 million kilometres.
The company’s CEO Zeng Yuqun even told Bloomberg recently that "If someone places an order, we are ready to produce it".
Also, according to CATL, this long-lasting “super-battery” only costs 10% over the current batteries the company already makes, which means that cars that come equipped with this battery will not be asking for an additional arm or leg.
Although it remains unknown if there have been any new orders for the battery, it is expected to be fitted in the Tesla Model 3 which is being made in China, as CATL has a two-year contract to supply Tesla starting this month.
So, if this “million-mile” battery really comes into effect and does what CATL claims it can do, it will not only redefine the whole EV industry, it will also redefine our acceptance of electrified vehicles as an option here in Malaysia.
Just to put things into perspective, a 2 million kilometre range is almost 10 times longer than the lengthiest battery warranty programs in the world at the moment. On top of that, a 16-year lifespan means that the batteries will probably never “kong” while the car is under your ownership.
That being said, if electric cars came with batteries that can last 16 years with a 2 million km range, would you consider buying one? If money is not an issue lah...