GAC-backed battery maker unveils world's first XFC plant

2023-12-25 10:24:13

Greater Bay Technology starts production at its XFC plant in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Oct 30, 2023. [Photo by Li Fusheng/chinadaily.com.cn]

Greater Bay Technology, a 3-year-old battery producer backed by GAC Group, unveiled the world's first plant dedicated to power batteries capable of extreme fast charging, or XFC, on Monday.

The US Department of Energy proposed the idea in 2018 of extreme fast charging, referring to technology that enables batteries to get charged from 0 to 80 percent within 10 minutes to extend the vehicles' mileage by 320 km.

Pei Feng, president of the Guangzhou-based company, said its products reached the 7.5-minute level already in 2022, three years ahead of the US Department of Energy's goal.

Some of its batteries, which were produced in other plants, have featured in models from carmakers including Aion, which is GAC's electric marque, and Chinese EV startup Hycan.

The new plant, with an annual production capacity of 4 GWh that can be doubled if necessary, marks a new milestone in Greater Bay Technology's development.

Pei said extreme fast charging will help EVs to gain popularity as their batteries can get charged as fast as gasoline vehicles get a refill.

He said larger battery makers including CATL and BYD have been working on such batteries as well although none of them have been able to start mass production.

"Those who don't will lose their market as there will be a growing number of people who demand faster charging," said Pei.

According to Boston Consulting Group, those which feature extreme fast charging batteries will account for 16 percent of all EVs sold in 2025 and the figure will rise to 68 percent in 2030.

Greater Bay Technology, now valued at around 8 billion yuan ($1.01 billion), said it has plans to go public at China's stock market but did not offer details.

NEVs have become a serious choice for car buyers in China. In September, their sales in the country grew 27.7 percent year-on-year to 904,000 units, accounting for over 31 percent of total vehicle sales, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

In the first nine months of the year, NEV sales increased 37.5 percent from a year ago to 6.28 million units, said the CAAM, which estimated that their total deliveries would hit 9 million units this year.

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