The upcoming introduction of the new high energy density NCM 811 battery cells requires the supply of more nickel, for this reason, LG Chem acquired a 10 percent stake in Kemco, a South Korean supplier of nickel sulfate.
Next year, in March, Kemco expects to produce nickel sulfate at a new factory, reaching an annual capacity of 20.000 tons. This means that LG Chem is on schedule to be able to supply the new NCM 811 battery cells in the summer of next year.
Not only the new NCM 811 battery cells with better energy density will drop the kWh cost at the pack level to 100 euros, they’ll also allow to make compact electric cars with decent range.
Let’s see some electric cars that are expected to get the new LG Chem NCM 811 battery cells:
- Nissan Leaf E-Plus (~60 kWh version)
- Hyundai Kona EV
- Hyundai IONIQ Electric (battery upgraded version)
- Kia Niro EV
- Second generation Renault Zoe (probably in 2019)
- Volkswagen ID that will replace the e-Golf in 2019
- Opel Corsa EV (2019)
- Peugeot 208 EV (2019)
The NCM 811 cathode is the first battery technology that makes electric cars price-competitive with ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars. For this reason, Volkswagen recently decided to not release the next generation Golf 8 with an electric version, instead Volkswagen will bring its successor – the ID – in 2019 with the MEB platform, one year earlier than what was initially planned.
I’m curious to see if the legacy automakers will finally take advantage of this new battery technology to finally sell appealing and affordable electric cars, while Tesla is having problems with ramping up the production of the Model 3. The Tesla Model 3 created a lot of media attention to electric cars and since Tesla isn’t able to produce enough cars to satisfy the demand, legacy automakers should step in and take this unique opportunity to establish themselves as electric car leaders…
If I was the CEO of one of those legacy automakers I would definitely take this one time opportunity and produce great electric cars to try to get some of those Tesla Model 3 reservation holders that are tired of waiting… In part, this is what I think Nissan and Hyundai will try to do in the following months. Let’s wait and see which one will be more successful in this strategy.
What do you think? Will at least some legacy automakers use the NCM 811 battery technology to make better electric cars and establish themselves as technological leaders?! Or will they continue to leave that role for Tesla alone?!
Update: it seems that initially the NCM 811 cells will be only used in electric buses.