LG Chem started NCM 712 battery cells production last year
It’s no longer an educated guess on my part, we now have the confirmation that LG Chem started the trial production of NCM 712 battery cells at its plant in Poland last year. As for mass production it started early this year.
The new LGX E78 battery cell is now being used by the Volkswagen ID.3 and the new generation Renault ZOE.
- Manufacturer: LG Chem
- Model: LGX E78
- Voltage: 3,65 V
- Capacity: 78 Ah
- Weight: 1.073 g
- Gravimetric energy density: 265 Wh/kg
- Chemistry: NCM 712
I suspect that the Dacia Spring Electric will also get this NCM 712 battery cell from LG Chem.
- Possible battery 1 (96s1p): 96 x 3,65 V x 78 Ah = 27,3 kWh
- Possible battery 2 (94s1p): 94 x 3,65 V x 78 Ah = 26,8 kWh
The Renault City K-ZE on which the Dacia Spring Electric will be based has a 26,8 kWh battery, so we’ll see.
Moreover, I also believe that there is another smaller and lighter NCM 712 battery cell with a capacity around 63 Ah being produced by LG Chem. This battery cell is the one that I think it’s now in the battery pack of the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV and might also be used in the upcoming new Renault Twingo ZE.
- Chevrolet Bolt EV (96s3p): 288 x 3,65 V x 63 Ah = 66,2 kWh
- Renault Twingo ZE (96s1p): 96 x 3,65 V x 63 Ah = 22,1 kWh
With a cost already below 100 euros per kWh at the battery pack level, the new NCM 712 cells from LG Chem make possible to have electric cars not much more expensive than their ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) counterparts.
If the Renault Twingo ZE with its tiny battery is priced above 15.000 euros before government subsidies, it just indicates that Renault is artificially inflating the price. Corporations do this all the time, they know that if they reduce the prices they prove that the technology is mature and no longer needs to be subsidized, then they stop getting money from governments.
In my opinion instead of subsidizing electric cars, governments should make polluting vehicles even more expensive to buy and use. If automakers get a hard time to sell ICE cars, they are forced to embrace electric cars, since it’s better to sell EVs than nothing at all…
I’m sure that if selling ICE cars was extremely hard or no longer allowed, automakers would do everything possible to sell affordable electric cars without the need of subsidies. Moreover, now with cheap and long-lasting cobalt-free batteries, most arguments against electric cars are destroyed.
Do you remember when automakers said that with batteries at 100 euros per kWh electric cars would be on price parity with ICE cars? How much longer they’ll keep moving the goal post?
Good points Pedro, thanks for posting this. Indeed, iceV penalties would be much more effective now, but that would accelerate the Osborne effect on the manufacturers, who wouldn’t have the battery supply to make enough EVs to compensate for all the icev sales they’d be using.
This way they make money on both EV and icev.
Interesting that the Aiways suv is now starting to arrive in Europe, and the MG ZS EV is now selling well in Norway. Start of the Chinese EV invasion?
I think that the real Chinese “invasion” will only start when Chinese companies offer a game changer product.
Probably it won’t be electric cars, but CTP cobalt-free batteries from CATL, BYD and SVOLT.
What is the basis for “100 euros per kWh” at the pack level? Cells, certainly, but I’ve not seen any evidence of pack, at least for NCM.
Most recent internal reports point to below 100 euros per kWh for NCM 811 battery packs. NCM 712 is marginally cheaper.
The chart below is from an internal VW document.
LFP cobalt-free cells are roughly 20 % cheaper than NCM 811 and their packs are already below 80 euros per kWh.
I have one remark. If Dacia Spring electric (or Renault K ZE) will come to the EU market in late 2021 with ca 27 kWh battery and 30 kW motor it will be definitely total business disaster. It is slightly bigger car than Citigoe with almost the same wheelbase. Dacia must redesign this platform for EU and offer at least the same battery capacity 36 kWh as Citigoe as well as 60 kW motor.
I’m convinced that it will have the same battery capacity as the Renault City K-ZE since Dacia only promises a “top range of over 200 km in WLTP”.
However, I agree that the top speed of 105 km/h and the 33 kW motor of the Renault City K-ZE will not be enough in Europe.
I’m guessing that the Dacia Spring Electric will get the 60 kW motor from the Renault Twingo ZE.
If it’s sold for 15.000 euros before government subsidies it won’t be a “disaster”. It will be cheaper than the Renault Twingo ZE and have more range (200 vs 180 km).
I think it will be a matter of price, if the car is cheap enough people will buy it. If you keep the car in the city the range and the power is probably enough, but the price is the important issue.
We will see. My guess is that the time, when people tolerated uncomplying parameters of the range and charging speed are almost gone. And also show us at least one “cheap” electric car which comes to the EU with extra low price. Renault Twizy is a good example of it. By my guess there is no chance for Dacia to start with significantly lower price than Citigoe. Renault Twingo ZE will also start at >20.000 Eur without incentives but Twingo is a “stylish” car and can afford that price, but Dacia / K-ZE definitely does not.
I can’t show you a cheap EV, they do not exist yet. But if we can trust Pedro the car manufacturers can actually make cheap or at least cheaper EVs and if we finally get some competition they may need to lower their prices in order to sell their cars. If the Twingo ZE will start at the same or even higher price than the e-Up or Citigo or Mii electric people will buy those because they have more range. Dacia is known for selling cheap cars, so if they have any interest in actually selling EVs they have to be cheap.
Dacia cars are popular for their mix of low price and “practicality”. From my point of view the K-ZE/Spring will be more practical than Citigoe due to the newer platform and slightly bigger size, but the drive range with the 27 kWh battery will be a major drawback in late 2021, which can be compensated by my guess only by the significantly lower price as low as 12.500 Eur (the actual price of Renault Twizy). But that price is not sustainable even for Dacia at that time. So they need to raise battery capacity at least to the Citigoe 36 kWh level (which is not a technical isssue, for example Citigoe with the same wheelbase can already have 47 kWh battery by using 124 Ah SVOLT prismatic cells in 102s1p connection), and with this capacity the Dacia price can start at sustainable 15.000 Eur which will be still ca 3000 Eur lower than Citigoe. We will see… 🙂
Another way of selling the Dacia is making it available, maybe you can buy a e-Up, Citigo or Mii electric that gives more range for the money, but you also have to be lucky to get one before they are all gone for the year. If people want a BEV and the e-Up, Citigo and Mii electric are no longer available, maybe they buy a Twingo ZE or Dacia instead of waiting for the production of the next year.
I still think that it would be an advantage if the Dacia would be really cheap, because not everybody needs a long range. People bought and drive BEVs with about 100 – 150 km of range.
Seems NCM 712 is another front like LFP. But the article does not state about 100 Euro / KWh for NCM 712. I guess its your educated guess.
Is the VW ID.3 on schedule to launch on June 17. Luckily things are coming back to normalcy after virus.
I assume that NCM 712 is slightly cheaper than NCM 811 since manganese is a lot cheaper than nickel, and NCM 217 will be cheaper than both.
Thanks Pedro: Wow NCM217 is amazing and could be revolutionary in terms of cost. I wish BASF does launch NCM217, otherwise LFP will eat everyones lunch.
If you are a Prebooker you can order the ID.3 1ST starting from the 17th June, but delivery is not announced yet. So it depends on what you mean by launch.
Thanks Lars: So only the order is on 17th June and launch could be much later.
VW started production of ID.3 on 2019-11-04, why would it take so much time to sell that vehicle.
Delivery will probably be in August or September, they said and are still saying that delivery will start in Summer.
They want to deliver all or almost all of the 30.000 ID.3 1ST at the same time and it seems they are still not done with the software of the vehicle.
I’m looking forward to the ID.4 coming out, but this trouble with software is making my hesitate from putting it at the top of my list. (Kia e-Niro is there right now) Especially after reading this article from Alex Voigt, as German manufacturers really might have serious issues with the software in their EVs.
I can see the issue with the software, but at least Volkswagen has started the work and at some point the software will work. They did probably underestimate the amount of time and effort it would take to finish the software, but who else has done something like that, except Tesla?
The German companies didn’t take BEVs serious and now or soon they will have to pay the price. On the other hand is there any other (non-Chinese) company except Tesla that has taken BEV seriously?
Yes, I hope VW sorts it out. Most software companies underestimate the amount of time and effort it takes, so businesses that haven’t been built with software at the core of what they do are really putting themselves in a position to be impeded by unforeseen roadblocks.
Volvo seems to be taking it seriously, but they’re relatively small and owned by a Chinese company, and their products are pretty expensive, so maybe they don’t really count.
The software “problems” are only advanced comfort functions, nothing that would be really needed for using the car.
Hopefully it’s not anything affecting things like Over The Air updates or the battery management system, but judging by what Alex Voigt found by talking to German auto execs, it might be something more serious. Then again, even UI issues with “comfort functions” can be really really annoying with a car. I don’t know about other people, but I find software issues incredibly frustrating on computers and phones, so I’d expect them to be an issue with a car too. I’ve literally wasted days of my life trying to get Windows Updates to work on older versions when the networking drivers got messed up, and I’m a lot less confident that VW can figure out how to build an OS than I am in Microsoft or Apple.
Instead of designing a car and a crossover for every segment like A, B, C …, it will be better if automakers standardize on crossovers and instead promote electrification whether it be BEV, PHV, FHV, MHV.
In USA in 2020-05, cars could capture only 21.7% market share while crossovers took 41.3% and SUVs (built on truck chassis) took another 9%. With the 5 door 2 box type (bonnet and passenger/cargo as 2 boxes) design, crossovers offer more interior volume. Of course wagons do, but crossovers use their height to maximum advantage.
BEV: Battery Electric Vehicle
PHV: Plugin Hybrid Vehicle
FHV: Full Hybrid Vehicle
MHV: Mild Hybrid Vehicle
Most companies start with SUV or crossovers or make an SUV or crossover as their second EV.
Volkswagen ID.4 (OK, the ID.3 comes first)
Peugeot e-2008 (OK, the e-208 came first)
Hyundai/Kia e-Kona, e-Niro and e-Soul.
I actually think it is good that they also build cars, not every one needs a SUV or crossover.
I think, the problem is the difference beetwen cost of manufacturing single car, and total cost of unit production (cost of production + R&D + cost of sales and marketing (repurposing dealership, building new sales processes etc.) + bulding supply chains). Low sales -> high unit cost.
On the other hand I hope we are going to see fast increase in next couple of years – as EV technology really matured, and future improvement should be slower, thus not disincetivising big investement in production capacity. No to mention that in a big corporation you actually need some track record to justify big moves. And almost ten years of EV evolution, and even more of battery improvement does provide that.