The Chinese battery cell maker SVOLT announces NCMA, cobalt-free (NMx) batteries and its plan to have a global presence, including a base in Europe.
Let’s see the press release.
SVOLT Energy Technology Co. Ltd, a rising-star battery maker in China, celebrated the world premiere of cobalt-free lithium-ion battery cell (NMx) and four-element lithium-ion battery cell (NCMA). In view of the two major challenges the electric-vehicle battery (EVB) industry faces, safety and cost, SVOLT has provided two novel product solutions, steering the industry in the new direction.
In the product launch event, Mr. Yang Hongxin, General Manager of SVOLT, said that the NMx battery cell rivals the NCM811 cell in performance, while reducing the cost of materials by 5%-15% and the cell BOM cost by around 5%, and allows the materials to rise above strategic resources. On the other hand, the NCMA material not only outperforms NCM811 in cycle life, but also exhibits better resistance to heat, the ability to generate less gas and greater safety, which translates into higher capacity, longer cycle life and better safety performance in the final products.
Based on a global layout mindset, SVOLT also announced its plan to build a base in Europe. Two billion euros ($2.24 billion) will be invested to build a 24GWh battery factory, a factory for cathode materials and a battery technology center. It will also integrate its 6 manufacturing bases around the globe into its AI factory construction plan.
SVOLT grew from the Battery Business Unit of Great Wall Motors Co. Ltd, and became independent in February 2018. It is primarily focused on EVB business, embracing an open supply to automakers around the world. Since its establishment, SVOLT has been committed to the product development based on the high-speed stacking technology of prismatic batteries and “automotive grade” standardization, ushering the industry in a new “Stacking Age.”
Mr. Yang Hongxin also elaborated on the concept of ‘Stacking Age’: an era specially born for electric vehicles, in which new technologies, new materials, new processes and new standards, characterized by the stacking process, will flourish.
SVOLT, whose precursor is the Battery Business Unit of Great Wall Motor Co. Ltd, started its cell pre-research work in 2012, and became independent in February, 2018. Headquartered in Wuxi, Jiangsu, SVOLT is a high-tech new energy company that specializes in energy technology, including EVB materials, cells, modules, PACK, BMS, energy storage and solar energy R&D and manufacturing.
SVOLT plans for 7 R&D centers around the globe, with four currently in operation, in Baoding, Korea, Shanghai and India, and three are under construction in the U.S., Japan and Wuxi. Domestically, SVOLT’s factory is under construction in Changzhou, Jiangsu, which will be operational by the end of 2019 with SOP in February 2020, and will have a capacity of 12GWh in 2020.
Roadmap: SVOLT is pioneering the introduction of prismatic stacking batteries, making it the world’s first high-speed stacking prismatic battery maker. The high-speed stacking process is the new generation of battery technology that breaks the bottleneck of winding processes of batteries. SVOLT aims to finish stacking one cell in 0.25 seconds in one single station. In contrast to the same type of winding process, the energy density of SVOLT stacking batteries improves 5%, the cycle life improves 10% and the cost reduces 15%.
With start of production in China scheduled for February 2020, Koreans battery cell makers that plan to introduce NCM 811 and 712 battery cells next year risk introducing soon-to-be-outdated technology.
While I have no data to attest the quality of the cobalt-free (NMx) battery cells announced by SVOLT, I know that research papers demonstrate that NCMA successfully combine NCA and NCM. Usually new battery chemistries require compromises, however NCMA cathodes get the best of both worlds (NCA and NCM). NCMA cathodes are safer and have better cycle life than the most advanced low cobalt content NCA or NCM cathodes. They are a real breakthrough.
Soon I’ll dedicate an article to NCMA cathodes and share with you why I’m excited about this new battery chemistry.