The Chinese start-up Leapmotor has just scored a historic milestone with the presentation of its Leapmotor C01: the first 100% electric series production car in the world in integrating the advanced CTC technology (acronym for cell-to-chassis), overtaking giants like Tesla or Toyota, two of the manufacturers working on what could be one of the keys to future zero-emission mobility.
The electric sedan will arrive in its home market in the coming months in five different versions with powers between 272 hp and 544 hp and you can book now. It has two battery sizes -with 76.6 kWh or 90 kWh- promises a fast charge of up to 400 kW and autonomy that ranges between 500 and 700 km according to the NEDC cycle.
Its base price will start at 180,000 Yuan, that is, about 25,400 euros to change. The top of the range will be estimated at 270,000 yuan, which is 38,100 euros at the current exchange rate.
Main advantages of CTC technology: less weight and more autonomy
Leapmotor was founded in 2015 and currently produces around 50,000 vehicles a year. The Leapmotor C01, its new structural battery flagship, is the fruit of six years of development. With its official debut comes a small revolution in the electric vehicle market.
At the moment, the vast majority of battery-powered electric cars on the market have their cells completely separated from the bodywork, while some, like Tesla, already work on CTP (cell-to-pack) technology which, in essence, consists of housing the batteries in the different holes in the bodywork. An example of this are the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y manufactured in China with batteries signed by the technology giant CATL.
Unlike all of them, the CTC (cell-to-chassis) technology of the Leapmotor C01 allows the battery is integrated into the vehicle chassis itself. The structural battery presents several advantages with respect to the conventional ones and to the ‘intermediate solution’ posed by CTP technology.
Among the main ones, we find a lower vehicle weight and the possibility of achieve longer battery range. According to Leapmotor, and compared to a conventional battery pack, “the C01’s CTC technology allows for a 20% reduction in the number of components, a 14.5% increase in available space and a 15kg reduction in total weight.”
Likewise, it facilitates the possibility of reducing the height between the underside of the car and the interior floor, something that allows to create vehicles with a center of gravity closer to the asphaltmore aerodynamic and with lower production cost, “by taking into account the material eliminated and the simplification of the manufacturing process”, according to the Chinese manufacturer.
Regarding the safety of this technology, Leapmotor assures that, in light of the tests they have carried out with their vehicles, integrating the battery into the vehicle’s chassis does not imply a greater risk in the event of an accident.
A) Yes, the great disadvantage of CTC technology we would find her when we had to repair battery, It would be a longer and more tedious process than usual.
The Leapmotor C01 will arrive in its home market in five different versions with a range of powers that goes from 272 hp and 500 Nm of torque for access versions with a single electric motor, up to 544 hp and 720 Nm of maximum torque for the variants that equip two engines and have all-wheel drive.
Depending on the version chosen, the autonomy of the 5.05 m long electric sedan varies between 500 and 717 km in NEDC cycle according to the manufacturer (According to the WLTP cycle, they would be tighter, but still acceptable). As for the batteries, there are two sizes available: the smallest, with 76.6 kWh and the largest, with 90 kWh capacity.
In the equipment section, the Leapmotor C01 flaunts a whole technological arsenal in which elements such as the advanced facial recognition (capable of starting by detecting the driver’s face) and a package of state-of-the-art driving assistants that the brand has called ‘Leapmotor Pilot’.
Also, C01 is compatible with both Apple and Android devices and allows you to control various functions such as door locks from the phone itself.
Leapmotor is already accepting orders and ensures that the first units will reach their owners in the coming months. Prices range from 180,000 yuan for the most basic version to 270,000 yuan for the top of the range (between 25,400 and 38,100 euros to change) in China. At the moment, it is unknown if the manufacturer will open up to other markets.