LG Chem will introduce NCM 811 battery cells for EVs next year

LG Chem battery cell

 

NCM 811 battery cells represent better energy density and lower costs than current mainstream battery technology.

 

Few days ago SK innovation announced that the start of production of improved NCM 811 battery cells is near, now it’s time for its main competitor – LG Chem – to do the same.

 

President of LG Chem’s battery business, Lee Ung Beom, just announced that:

“We will first produce the (NCM 811 battery), and you can see it next year”.

 

Yes, we’ll definitely see those 60 kWh batteries next year, in the 2019 Nissan Leaf. According to Nissan’s global sales and marketing division, Daniele Schillaci, the 2019 Nissan Leaf will get more than 225 miles (362 km) EPA range from those…

 

The NCM 811 designation means that the cathode material is 80 percent nickel, 10 percent cobalt and 10 percent manganese. While the anode is mostly graphite mixed with a bit of silicon to improve energy density. These new battery cells not only have better energy density, they are also cheaper to produce, especially since they require much less cobalt than before.

 

You can see from the diagram below that less cobalt (Co) means lower cost.

 

NCM Product Overview by BASF in November 4, 2014

 

The presence of cobalt in battery cells is problematic, since it’s very expensive and most comes from mines in Republic of Congo that use child labor. For plenty of reasons, the less cobalt is used the better. To give you an idea, see the costs below:

Cobalt: 50.691,85 €/t

Nickel: 10.001,29 €/t

Manganese: 1.710 €/t

 

It’s impossible not to notice how expensive cobalt is when compared to nickel or manganese.

 

Moving on…

 

Theoretically, the energy density of NCM 811 battery cells can reach 1.000 Wh/L, which is very good, especially considering that the first generation battery cells (LMO) used in the 24 kWh battery of the old Nissan Leaf were 317 Wh/L as you can see below.

 

Specs of the AESC battery cells used in the first generation Nissan Leaf 24 kWh battery

 

When I wrote an article with my thoughts on the 2018 Nissan Leaf, I realized that the new AESC battery cells have now reached an energy density of 529 Wh/L and are actually more energy dense than the LG Chem battery cells (435-484 Wh/L) used in the new ZE 40 battery of the Renault Zoe. In fact, this new chemistry used by AESC could give the Renault Zoe a 49,86 kWh battery without increasing its size…

 

Anyways, the energy density of the new NCM 811 battery cells made by LG Chem – for the longer range version of the 2019 Nissan Leaf – is yet to be known. If the future battery pack doesn’t increase in size, then it means that the battery cells have to be at least 729 Wh/L, which I find unlikely. The longer range version 2019 Nissan Leaf’s battery pack will probably be slightly bigger, not only to have its capacity increased to 60 kWh, but also to have space for a TMS (Thermal Management System).

 

As a side note, BMW only expects to use NCM 811 battery cells in 2021 with its new BMW i5… for now the best this automaker has to announce is that the BMW i3 will get – the now outdated – NCM 622 battery cells next year. This means that BMW won’t have any real electric alternative to the Tesla Model 3 before 2021…

 

BMW Group Technology Workshops –E-Mobility in December 2016

 

 

More info:

http://www.theinvestor.co.kr/view.php?ud=20170908000616

Trusted Source Says 60-kWh Nissan LEAF Will Have 225-Plus Mile Range

Pedro Lima

More than natural resources, are wasted human resources that bothers me the most. That’s why I’m a strong advocate of a society based on cooperation, not competition, that helps every individual to reach his full potential so that he can contribute back to society. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.

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18 Responses

  1. Rúben Ramos says:

    Hi Pedro Lima, thanks for your excelent work.
    Do you believe that August is already available the leaf with 60kW??

  2. Nuno Neto says:

    Hi Pedro! Really nice work, as usual. Maybe I just missed any article on this, but what about the battery’s after life? One of the big arguments of the non-electrical car believers is the pollution created during the dismantling process. Every day we see new battery technology coming up, but rarely is mentioned the other side. Is this battery recycling as advanced as the batteries evolution or is still a dubious process?

  3. RNMentropy says:

    According to the BASF paper that you shared, HE-NCM is better then NCM-811.
    But still that number are below what Nissan is providing today.

  4. Dmitry Pelegov says:

    The question is about cycleability and safety. It looks like they think that today’s cycleability is too high and can be easily decreased. Ok, for EV itself maybe, but what about second life of battery in stationary ESS? And that about safety? Usually more Ni means higher thermal runaway …

  5. Mg says:

    How much cobalt goes into current LG fell(622)? i read samewhere that Tesla uses 0.36 kg per kWh. If lg’s composition is similar then we might see some 7usd per kWh price decrease (-9 USD in cobalt and + 2 USD in Nickel). And we are talking about lower boundry of price here and i belive that cell material costs are getting lower and lower(i heard 70 USD per kWh figure some time ago). We might be going under 50usd/kWh by now(cost reduction + density increase). Pedro – do You have any clue what amperage is LG heading with they next generation of cells? Last one was like 65 ah. But to go to that promised 600 km Zoe they actually need like 90-100 ah per cell. Do you think that’s possible with those next year 811 cell? It would be very interesting to see su h cells in Bolt. With slight aero boost we might see 300 miles at 75 mph. And some 370 epa. That coupled with faster charging I would consider to be finally leveled with ice at long distance travels ease. BTW since I assume those to be produced at polish factory since the begining(would be strange to change production lines couple of months after inauguration, although they may might run several lines and chemistries concurrently) we might see 60kwh 2019 Zoe model as well.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Hi Mg. You made so many interesting questions and I almost didn’t notice them among all the comments. Sorry for the late reply.

      Just have a look at the page 3 of the following document:

      http://closeloop.fi/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Li-raw-materials-20170307.pdf

      While the NCM 622 chemistry uses 0,36 kg of cobalt in each kg/kWh, the NCM 811 uses half (0,18 kg). The NCA chemistry that Tesla uses is at 0,22 kg. Unless it’s a highly modified and special chemistry…

      Regarding the capacity of the upcoming LG Chem battery cells I have no idea. I think that the 60 kWh battery for the 2019 Nissan Leaf will no longer use the current 96s2p cell configuration, instead it’ll most likely be 96s3p (total 288), just like the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

      With a 96s3p configuration the amp-hour capacity of each battery cell can stay roughly the same as it is today with the AESC cells – and still reach the 60 kWh goal, since there’ll be 96 more cells in the battery pack than before.

      One possibility is that the cell’s improvement is made by reducing its volume, instead of increasing its capacity. Nevertheless I’m almost certain that the 60 kWh battery pack in the Leaf will be bigger than the 40 kWh one. The capacity increase won’t be possible only thanks to an energy density increase of the cells.

      The Renault Zoe just got its battery capacity increased, I don’t think it’ll get upgraded again before 2020. However, I think that the Zoe will get a facelift in 2018, with some aerodynamic tweaks and more safety features like AEB.

      Remember that the new generation Renault Clio will arrive next year:

      http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/renault/clio/94998/new-2018-renault-clio-to-get-revolutionary-interior-design

      • Mg says:

        Thanks Pedro – i’ll read whole paper. Looks interesting. Regarding Leaf – and potential battery configuration change – it will be complicated to keep two diffrent battery geometries in the same car body. Moreover if they are going to increase number of cells anyway there is no need to wait for LG chem cells in the first place. Btw I’ll send You follow up on the LG’s Polish factory story tonight.
        Regards:)

  6. Rafael says:

    Hola Pedro Lima. Solid Energy por fin después de hacernos esperar unas semanas a publicado nuevos datos sobre su nueva celda de 450wh/kg 1200wh/l “aunque eso si a 0,1C de descarga”. ¿Que opinion tienes sobre esta celda llamada Hermes?. ¿Crees Pedro Lima que esta sera la celda revolucionaria que hara despegar definitivamente el coche eléctrico?. Perdon de antemano por desviarme del tema principal de este Post.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Hola Rafael.

      I contacted SES (Solid Energy Systems) yesterday, because the specs of the Hermes battery cell had a typo, I used the opportunity to ask them when do they expect to have it commercially available. The response I got was that it will be available mid next year in commercial drones.

      I expect that the technology will be bought by a big cell maker, like LG Chem did with Sion Power. That’s the only way to mass produce it for electric cars.

      Here you have an interesting interview:

      http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2017/08/133_235645.html

  7. Ouhou says:

    Hi,

    Just to get it straight, the new nissan leaf 40kwh has LMO or NMC Battery?

    Because I can t find this information nowhere, it only mentions “li ion “battery.

    I know that the 30kwh 2017 leaf had a NMC Battery and the 24kwh from 2012 had a LMO. So I hope that the new one has a nmc if not It would be a step back.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Hi Ouhou.

      Only the first generation 24 kWh battery was LMO, with the introduction of the 30 kWh battery the chemistry was changed to NCM (or NMC). The 40 kWh battery is also NCM, it wouldn’t be possible to achieve this kind of energy density levels with LMO.

      Nissan only used LMO when it first introduced the Leaf, because it was – and still is – the cheapest chemistry. Manganese is cheap.

  8. filip bjurling says:

    Not that impressed of this is next gen batteries. Take a 18650 battery today that is 3,7V and 3,4Ah. They have been around for at least five years, probably longer. The density of those is: 760wh/l. This is only slightly higher… Theoretically

  9. Jean-Francois Morissette says:

    How does that compare with Tesla, for both Model S/X and Model 3?

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