Zeng Yuqun's 82-year-old doctoral director ended up making batteries

Beijing Weilan New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. recently completed the industrial and commercial change, among which the new shareholders include Hubei Xiaomi Changjiang Industrial Fund Cooperation Enterprise and Shenzhen Hubble Technology Investment Partnership.

Friends who are more familiar with the technology circle must know that Xiaomi and Huawei are behind these two companies, which also means that Xiaomi and Huawei have invested in this power battery startup at the same time.

After carefully studying the list of shareholders, Che Dongshi found that Xiaomi and Huawei are not the only ones behind this company. The company's largest shareholder is Hefei Blue Mile Venture Capital Partnership, and the force behind it is NIO Capital.

In fact, although Weilan New Energy is not well known to the outside world, the background of this company is not simple. The company was born out of the Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and was officially established in 2016. According to reports from the investment community, Weilan New Energy’s valuation has reached 15 billion yuan, making it a unicorn company.

The three core figures of Weilan New Energy, Chen Liquan, Yu Huigen, and Li Hong, are all from the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Among them, Chen Liquan was once the doctoral tutor of Zeng Yuqun, the chairman of CATL , and was also evaluated as "the first person in China's lithium battery".

No matter from the background of shareholders or the founding team, Weilan New Energy is very topical, so what is the current development status of this company? What are its advantages in terms of technical capabilities?

Huawei and Xiaomi have invested many times, and Li Bin is the largest shareholder

Che Dongshi found that Weilan New Energy just completed strategic financing on March 24 this year. Shunwei Capital, Xiaomi Group, and Hubble Investment all participated in this round of financing. Other investors also include Geely Holding Group, Jiaxing Solid Lithium Enterprise Management Partnership (Limited Partnership), Jiaxing Weilan Enterprise Management Partnership (Limited Partnership), Yangzhou Weilan Investment Partnership (Limited Partnership), Ningbo Blue Engine Equity Investment Partnership (Limited Partnership), Beijing High-end Manufacturing Industry Base Investment Development Co., Ltd.

But this is not the first time Huawei and Xiaomi have been associated with this company. On November 26 last year, Weilan New Energy officially completed the C round of financing of about 500 million yuan. The main investors are Huawei, Xiaomi Group, Weilai Capital, and IDG Capital.

At present, Huawei and Xiaomi have participated in two rounds of financing, and the emphasis on this company is increasing, and Weilai Capital in the C round of financing has a deeper relationship with Weilan New Energy. The largest shareholder of Weilan New Energy is Hefei Blue Mile Venture Capital Partnership, with a shareholding ratio of 19.15%. After equity tracking, the largest shareholder behind the latter is Li Bin.

In other words, Li Bin and Weilai Capital are the biggest funders behind this company. In fact, Li Bin not only made financial investments but also under his leadership, Weilai Automobile has established a direct cooperative relationship with Weilan New Energy. The semi-solid battery developed by the two parties can reach a capacity of 150 kWh and an energy density of 360Wh. /kg, the Weilai ET7 equipped with this battery can last up to 1,000 kilometers after a single charge. The battery is expected to be mass-produced in the first half of next year. Insisting on the development of solid-state batteries, Zeng Yuqun's mentor is the founder

The ability to allow star investors and investment companies such as Li Bin, Xiaomi, and Huawei to make multiple capital injections also shows the unusualness of this company. First of all, the founding team of this company is very unusual. The three founders of Chen Liquan, Yu Huigen, and Li Hongzhe are all from the Institute of Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Chen Liquan is the oldest among them. Born in 1940, he is 82 years old this year, and he is also the most legendary one.

Since 1978, he has been engaged in solid-state ideaology and its application in energy research. In 2001, he visited the person in charge of the "863" plan electric vehicle major project to promote the inclusion of lithium-ion battery projects for vehicles. Within the special topic of electric vehicles.

In addition, as a doctoral supervisor of the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, the students he has guided include Zeng Yuqun, the founder and chairman of CATL. Whether in terms of qualifications or actual achievements, Chen Liquan is worthy of the evaluation of "the first person in China's lithium battery".

Yu Huigen is a postgraduate tutor and professor-level senior engineer at the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, while Li Hong has been working in the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences since 1999. In addition, the company's technology route is also very unusual. Weilan New Energy did not choose the largest liquid battery on the market but chose a solid-state battery that has not yet been successfully mass-produced by companies.

From the technical point of view, Weilan New Energy has not completely conquered solid-state batteries but chose the transition path of semi-solid-state batteries. Che Dongxing has previously learned that on the basis of the current NCM 811 battery, adding the silicon-carbon element to the negative electrode material can produce a semi-solid battery, which is completely feasible from a technical point of view.

The biggest advantage of semi-solid batteries is that the energy density is higher, and the energy density of the cells is above 300Wh/kg. The advantage of this is that electric vehicles can carry more batteries However, this kind of battery also has the disadvantage of high cost, but the average price of NIO cars is around 400,000 yuan, and the battery cost does not have much impact on the price of the whole vehicle, which may be the reason for the cooperation between the two parties.

The all-solid-state battery is still in the experimental stage. According to many industry experts, the large-scale commercial use of solid-state batteries may not wait until 2025.

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