GAC Aion, the electric car brand of Chinese auto giant GAC, said Friday that its Aion LX model with the latest battery technology has completed summer tests and will soon start mass production.
The company said the model is equipped with silicon-sponge negative cell battery technology and is capable of a 1,000-kilometer range, the first in the world to achieve such a range.
The sponge-silicon negative cell technology makes batteries smaller and lighter, achieving a 20 percent reduction in size and 14 percent reduction in weight for the same amount of power, according to GAC Aion.
Its summer tests were conducted in the city of Sanya in southern China's Hainan province, where the average summer temperature steadily reaches 36 degrees Celsius and the surface temperature is nearly 60 degrees Celsius.
GAC Aion says the model achieved an actual range of 904 kilometers while keeping the air conditioning on at all times.
After several days of continuous testing, the vehicle underwent a number of calibrations and tests to validate its performance, including battery thermal management efficiency, high-temperature charging speed, and combined range, all of which met the design goals and performed well, said GAC Aion.
In February of this year, GAC Aion completed winter low-temperature testing of this battery technology.
Earlier this year, GAC claimed that two of its graphene batteries were initially scheduled for mass production in September, one capable of charging 80% in 8 minutes and one capable of 1000 km range.
GAC was criticized as a liar for its vague statements at the time, which led to the misconception that one of its batteries had both features.
Later, Gu Huinan, general manager of GAC Aion, clarified that these were two technologies, of which a model with a range of up to 1,000 km will definitely appear this year, but at no lower cost.
The Aion LX model currently on sale starts at RMB 229,600 ($35,400) after subsidies, although the NEDC combined range is only 520 km.
GAC Aion sold 10,403 units in June, up 190 percent year-on-year