While other companies look to experimental solid-state batteries to boost energy density, Chinese automaker GAC is finding ways to improve existing lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry.
GAC recently unveiled a "super iron" LFP battery, with a claim of 20% greater energy density by volume compared to conventional LFP cells, via microcrystalline technology—achieving a 13.5% energy density boost on the cell-quality level.
The battery was unveiled alongside a number of other tech features and vehicles at the company's 2022 GAC Tech Day, and was only briefly mentioned in that presentation.
The company also unveiled a prototype hydrogen combustion engine announced late last year. The 1.5-liter engine burns 0.84 kg of hydrogen per 100 km, according to GAC, which showcased the engine in a minivan concept. It's unclear if this engine will go into production, however. And it's unlikely that it would reach the United States if it did.
GAC Entranze concept, 2019 Detroit auto show
As a refresher, GAC had been planning for a U.S. launch, but several years ago focused more on its home market and teamed up with Nio for EV development. GAC currently sells EVs in China under the Aion brand name, along with an assortment of internal-combustion models across multiple brands.
Prior to that, it brought several vehicles to the Detroit Auto Show in 2017 and 2019. Among the product prospects was the Entranze, a futuristic-looking electric minivan concept unveiled in 2019.
Chinese automakers and battery manufacturers embraced LFP battery cells more quickly than companies in other regions, but LFP chemistry is no longer the sole domain of Chinese-market automakers. Tesla already uses LFP cells in some vehicles manufactured and sold in the United States, and Rivian plans to as well.