GAC Aion, the EV marque of Chinese automaker GAC Group, will soon begin volume production of its Aion LX SUV, which the company boasts has a range of 1,000-kilometres.
The 2022 GAC Aion LX recently completed its hot-weather testing in Sanya, Hainan, an island province of China and the country’s southernmost point, known for its tropical climate.
Having already completed its cold-weather testing in February, the vehicle’s hot-weather testing marked one of the last steps towards volume production and making it to market.
According to GAC Aion, the Aion LX boasts a potentially record breaking all-electric range of 1,000-kilometres – well in excess of the current record holder, the Tesla Model S Long Range, with a claimed range of 652-kilometres.
Importantly, however, the Tesla Model S Long Range is tested against the internationally accepted WLTP cycle. However, there is no clarity over what testing conditions or protocol was used for GAC Aion’s claim of 1,000-kilometres.
GAC did say that the Aion LX only achieved a range of 904-kilometres in its hot-weather testing. The company explained further that achieving the headline-grabbing 1,000-kilometres all-electric range is achievable in milder conditions.
The ultra-long range claimed by GAC Aion is due to the sponge silica-based anode battery technology which the carmaker unveiled at the 2021 GAC Tech Day back in April.
Its proprietary battery technology has created a 150kW battery that is 20% smaller by volume and 14% lighter by mass than the company’s existing 650-kilometre battery, and has an energy density of around 280Wh/kg.
GAC Aion isn’t the only Chinese carmaker boasting 1,000-kilometres of all-electric range, however, after rival Nio announced in January the launch of its ET7.
Billed as Nio’s “first autonomous driving model”, the NT7 will not only boast the company’s various autonomous driving technologies but also offers three battery pack options, offering driving range of at least 500km with the 70kWh, 700km with the 100kWh battery, and over 1,000km with the company’s new 150kWh battery.
The same battery technology will also be available for the company’s three SUV models, providing the Nio ES8 with up to 850km, the ES6 with 900km, and the EC6 with 910km.
Whether the claim of 1,000-kilometres of all-electric driving range from either GAC Aion or Nio will be proven out when tested against internationally accepted standards, only time will tell. But, if they are able to come close, then they will be game changers.