Chinese startup Greater Bay Technology has made a bold claim, stating that its new electric vehicle (EV) battery, called the Phoenix cell, can function seamlessly in any weather condition. The battery utilizes superconducting materials and innovative thermal management techniques, enabling it to rapidly adjust freezing temperatures to normal room temperature within just five minutes, as reported by Bloomberg.

Extreme temperatures have long posed challenges for EV batteries, reducing their charging efficiency when temperatures drop below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit or zero degrees Celsius). This limitation has hindered the reliability of EV range for owners. Carmakers have previously resorted to incorporating heat pumps to maintain optimal battery temperatures, but this approach has proven to be inefficient.

Founded in 2020, Greater Bay Technology aims to revolutionize the operation of EV batteries, and their Phoenix cell claims to address a major headache for EV manufacturers. The company was established by Huang Xiangdong, alongside industry veteran Pei Feng. Both Huang and Pei were former colleagues at GAC, China’s third most popular EV brand after BYD and Tesla.

Huang, who studied automotive engineering in Italy during the 1980s, served as a postdoctoral researcher at Fiat’s research center for five years before returning to China in 1991. From 2006, he led the R&D Center at GAC, overseeing the development of the highly successful GS4 SUV.

After retiring in 2016, Huang returned in 2020 with a vision to develop battery technology that would make EVs as convenient to own and operate as traditional gasoline-powered cars. Their first-generation battery achieved a recharge time of approximately 15 minutes, providing a range of 310 miles (500 km). This technology has already been integrated into GAC’s Aion, an electric SUV, according to Bloomberg.

The next-generation Phoenix cell boasts an impressive range of 621 miles (1,000 km) on a single charge. By utilizing superconducting materials and advanced thermal management technology, the battery can be heated from temperatures as low as -4 Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius) back to 77 Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) in just five minutes.

Once the battery is within its normal operating temperature range, it can be rapidly charged, reaching full capacity in a mere six minutes. This effectively means that the Phoenix cell can be utilized in any weather condition, comparable to filling up the tank of a gasoline-powered car, aligning with the company’s vision. Huang confidently stated, “The Phoenix battery not only addresses the long charging time for EVs but other pain points. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hot day or a cold day; the Phoenix battery’s range won’t be affected.”

Huang firmly believes that his groundbreaking technology will accelerate the widespread adoption of EVs. The Phoenix cell could potentially be implemented as early as next year in GAC’s Aion EVs, as well as in vehicles produced by other automakers.

In just two years, Greater Bay Technology has achieved unicorn status, with a valuation of $1 billion, garnering attention alongside prominent battery manufacturers such as Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL) and BYD in China.

By Impact Lab