Here's one we missed from last week's electric car avalanche at Auto Shanghai. Sitting on around a billion American dollars' worth of investment, Enovate Motors showed a neat concept sports car built around a high capacity, fast charging solid state battery pack.
The company says it'll have a working, automotive-grade solid-state battery pack ready to hit the market in mass production by 2021, with cell energy density around 300 Wh/kg - a figure that drops to around 220 Wh/kg when you add in the weight of the battery pack itself.
For reference, the current energy density champ on the market is Tesla's Model 3, with cell density around 247 Wh/kg and a total battery pack energy density of about 160 Wh/kg, according to Jack Rickard and Cleantechnica. What's more, the Sky pack will run at 800 volts and accept super-fast charging at up to 300 kW, enabling 15-minute 0-80 percent charge times where the infrastructure permits, as well as accepting static or dynamic wireless charging options. So this solid state gear would definitely appear to be a significant step forward if it actually manages to materialize – or indeed, if something else doesn't render it obsolete before it goes into production.
On to the Enovate ME-S, then - S standing for Sports, as opposed to the brand's less glamorous ME7 SUV, a US$55 grand luxury family electric. The ME-S is a sleek 4-door sportster whose design, particularly the bladed tail lights wrapped around the rear end, recalls Porsche's Panamera.
Like a lot of concepts we've been seeing lately, the ME-S uses a funky coach door opening style in which the back doors hinge at the rear, giving easier access to the back seats. Interestingly, from what we can glean from the Chinese-language website, the seats appear to have some kind of rotating ability – but whether that's rotating outward to let you in and out easier, or rotating inward for conversation in self-driving mode, we don't know. It does have a retractable steering wheel, and a promise of Level 4 autonomy, so probably the latter.
There's a kitchen-sink list of connectivity and intelligence promises, including networked traffic information, sharing of sensor data between cars, 5G connectivity, cloud brain computing, biometric authentication with iris scanning and voice analysis, biometric monitoring of the driver's heartbeat and eye movements, and an "intelligent holographic projection mode" that can communicate the car's intentions to pedestrians. Righty-o then.
Nothing's said about performance, but when the Top Gear team bailed up an Enovate team member in Shanghai, they managed to get a 3-second 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint time target and the fact that it'll be all-wheel drive out of them.
Vaporware? Perhaps. It certainly won't be making holograms on the road if and when it hits the market in 2021. But the ME7 SUV is already in production, Enovate seems highly motivated to get the first solid state battery and car into production. So who knows, maybe we'll hear more from this company.
Source: Enovate Motors
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