A new electric SUV from GAC is about to enter full-scale production, with a claimed driving range allowing a trip from Sydney to Melbourne without stopping.
A new medium-sized SUV is about to enter production in China, potentially offering owners 1000km of range from a single charge.
If true, the 2022 GAC Aion LX will lay claim to having the longest all-electric range of any production car on sale, overtaking the current title-holder – the Tesla Model S Long Range.
The Tesla offers a claimed range of 652km, meaning the Aion LX offers a driving range 53 per cent better than the Model S. Or to put it another way, it's roughly the equivalent of a Tesla Model S Long Range and a Nissan Leaf hatch combined.
However, while Tesla's range claim is tested against the WLTP cycle – a testing protocol accepted internationally – it's not clear what test conditions were used by GAC to achieve the 'kilo'.
GAC Motor announced the Aion LX achieved a maximum range of 904km during hot-weather testing, in which the vehicle was driven through 36-degree heat and 90 per cent humidity – suggesting the 1000km range would be possible in locations with more favourable conditions.
The company's new spongy silicon cathode technology is said to allow greater energy density with less weight – with the Aion LX's battery being 14 per cent lighter and 20 per cent smaller than previous packs – leading to a 150kWh battery pack in the vehicle. For comparison, the biggest battery in the Tesla Model S is 100kWh.
The Chinese automotive industry has been chasing the golden 1000km figure as a way of winning over buyers from traditional petrol and diesel cars.
It's the equivalent of driving from Shanghai to Wuhan, London to Zurich, or Sydney to Melbourne – with range to spare.
But GAC isn't the only manufacturer with big claims. Chinese car maker Nio says its upcoming ET7 sedan will use cutting-edge solid-state batteries in order to achieve 1000km, with production promised to start in 2022.
Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than 15 years. Ben was previously an interstate truck driver and completed his MBA in 2021. Ben began publishing car reviews and opinion pieces before being appointed Motoring Editor for an online lifestyle magazine. Working throughout the automotive industry in various marketing and communications roles over the past 15 years, he has written freelance on the topics of cars and watches for a number of publications. Ben is considered an expert in the area of classic car investment, which combines his love of finance, macroeconomics, and all things automotive. Ben lives in Melbourne and enjoys music, road trips, and the outdoors.Read more about Ben Zachariah