Chinese most famous battery cell manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) has signed a supply agreement with European leading electric bus manufacturer Solaris Bus & Coach sp. z o.o. (Solaris). CATL is going to supply lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP) batteries equipped with novel Cell-to-Pack (CTP) technology to Solaris to power its bus models in a bid to facilitate bus electrification, which will mitigate carbon emissions and reduce air pollution in Europe.
Powered by CATL’s LFP battery system, which features exceptionally long battery life and high thermal stability, Solaris e-buses may offer an outstanding performance record in safety and distinguished temperature adaptability. By removing the conventional module parts, the innovative CTP technology increases the battery energy density and payload of the e-bus, making it a perfect option for sustainable city transportation.
Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4 or LFP) cells generally have a longer service life and higher thermal stability – even in the event of mechanical damage and/or a short circuit, the likelihood of a battery fire is significantly lower. However, LFP cells have a lower energy density than lithium-ion batteries with NCM or NCA cathode. In buses, however, the energy density of the battery is not quite as important as in passenger cars due to the space available.
In addition: CATL wants to compensate for the disadvantage of the lower energy density with the so-called Cell-to-Pack (CTP) technology. This eliminates the intermediate step of first assembling the battery cells into modules. Usually, such modules are then combined into a battery pack. With CTP technology, the cells are installed directly in the battery pack – since this eliminates the installation space and weight of the modules and the necessary wiring, more cells can be installed in a battery pack of the same size.
CATL also presented its CTP 3.0 technology at the end of March. At that time, the LFP version was said to have a gravimetric energy density of 160 Wh/kg and a volumetric energy density of 290 Wh/l.
Headquartered in Bolechowo, Poland, Solaris is one of the leading European bus and trolleybus manufacturers. Benefiting from more than 25 years of experience and having manufactured over 22,000 vehicles, Solaris affects the quality of city transport in hundreds of cities across Europe every day. Thinking of the future, the firm is setting new standards by dynamically developing its products, in particular in the electromobility sector. It ranks first in the zero-emission bus market in 2021 in Europe. Starting co-operation with CATL, Solaris will extend its offer by new battery solutions available in its vehicles.
This co-operation will extend CATL’s global commercial vehicle electrification network and accelerate the electrification transition of commercial vehicles worldwide, thus contributing to the global drive for e-mobility and carbon neutrality.