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IM L6 – world’s first production car with a solid state battery

IM Motors claim that the L6, due to launch in May, will come with the industry’s first mass-produced ultra-fast charging solid state battery. More details will be announced at the IM L6 Technology Conference on April 8 but we already know that the new battery will be 130 kWh.

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The cathode (positive electrode) is coated with ultra-high nickel material with the anode (negative) being a new generation of high-specific energy composite silicon carbon material. Where solid-state batteries differ significantly from existing technology is with the electrolyte being solid, in the case of the one used by the IM L6 a patented self-developed nano-scale electrolyte. This has “high ionic conductivity, high-temperature resistance” which presumably means the fire risk will be less. Furthermore, the electrolyte uses dry solid layer integrated molding with the resultant battery having reduced internal resistance meaning ultra-fast charging is possible. These technologies solve the problem of high expansion of silicon-based materials ensuring stability, and allowing better charging/discharging performance ultimately ensuring better safety. SAIC claim the car has quasi 900V ultra-fast charging.

By having a solid electrolyte it is not possible for it to leak which improves safety and also makes the battery less prone to combustion or explosion. IM also has five-fold safety protection technology to shield batteries with heat insulation and fire retardant materials.

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IM announced at the Geneva Motor Show that the L6 equipped with the solid state battery would have a CLTC range of 1000 km (CLTC) or under WLTP, 800 km. However, MIIT listings which are the precursor for a car going on sale do not feature a solid state battery. Instead the car comes with a choice 90 or 100 kWh ternary lithium (NCM) battery packs from CATL. The smaller pack gives the rear wheel drive version a 720 km CLTC range and the all-wheel drive 700 km whereas the 100 kWh battery gives 770 km and 750 km respectively.

SAIC aim to take the IM brand international this year and sales should begin in Europe next year. Currently it is not clear whether IM models will be rebranded in Europe as MG cars or whether they will still be called IM.

IM Motors was founded in 2020 as a joint venture between SAIC Motor, Alibaba Group, and Zhangjiang Hi-Tech. The first model was the L7 sedan which went on sale in 2022 and has since been followed by the LS7 and LS6 SUVs.

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Source: Autohome

Editor’s note:

We will obviously have to wait until April 8 for more details but the fact that there is currently no MIIT listing for a variant of the IM L6 equipped with the battery may indicate production is still some time off. Nio famously first promised its semi-solid state battery in 2022 but is now only finally delivering in 2024. Then there is the cost factor, the Nio battery is reportedly so costly it is only available as a temporary rental.

IM claim that the solid state battery is meant to have a high energy density but the key will be how heavy the battery actually is given that at 130 kWh the capacity is quite high. Success is also dependent on how much it will cost to produce the battery and whether the car can be sold at a price which makes it worthwhile to purchase.

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