This new battery tech could trickle into other Geely-owned brands.
Chinese automaker Zeekr is claiming its new EV, the 001, achieves an incredible 621 miles of range on a single charge. The Zeekr 001 is something you'd be forgiven for not having heard of. Even after the electric shooting brake broke two world records. It's a Chinese brand, owned by Geely, the same folks who own Lotus, Volvo, and Polestar. For all intents and purposes, this is China's Kia EV6 - an electric wagon with big performance and sleek looks.
But the news here is in the battery tech, which could obviously head to other Geely-held brands like Volvo. The brand claims the 001 will do a massive 621 miles on a charge. That means more range than a Lucid Air (520 miles, based on EPA estimates).
The model has been updated for 2023 with a larger 140 kWh battery pack. Previously, the brand offered both an 86 and a 100 kWh battery for the 001. This new battery is courtesy of China's CATL, the same place Tesla gets some of its batteries from.
These are new designs from the Chinese manufacturer, and Zeekr says the batteries use new cell-to-pack construction with an improved density of 0.255 kWh per kilogram of weight. On top of that, CATL claims 13% better power output over Tesla's other battery, the 4680 cell. The result is significantly more range and enhanced power delivery.
For reference, the aforementioned 86 and 100 kWh batteries were paired with trims that produced 286 horsepower from a single motor and a 536 hp dual-motor setup. These two trims also net 339 miles and 460 miles of range, respectively.
However, it doesn't appear that the big boy battery, which is capable of the claimed 600+ miles of range, produces more power. On top of that, Zeekr will only put the 140 kWh battery in 1,000 cars.
A quick note about range: The figures are in American miles, but China tests EV range differently than Europe (WLTP) or the US (EPA). So, your mileage may quite literally vary.
Regardless, the Zeekr 001's 2023 updates also include a 14.1-inch center screen with an 8.8-inch digital dash, a Yamaha sound system, and a starting price of $43,487 US. Zeekr has filed for an IPO here in the States and claims it will make a European debut soon.