Battery cells with highest energy density in China

CATL Energy Density Development Roadmap

The first generation NCM 811 battery cells from CATL and SK Innovation are now on top of the list of the most energy dense cells used in China.

As for the second generation of NCM 811 batteries with silicon added to the graphite anode, they will arrive later this year and will be able to reach 300 Wh/kg.


The latest list also shows us that cylindrical battery cells are no longer required to achieve great energy density levels.


  • CATL: 279,56 Wh/kg (NCM 811 in pouch form)
  • SKI: 269,44 Wh/kg (NCM 811 in pouch form)
  • LG: 257,1 Wh/kg (NCM 811 in cylindrical form)



It’s interesting to see that the pouch NCM 712 battery cell produced by LG Chem in Europe has an energy density similar to the NCM 811 pouch cell from SK Innovation (265 vs 269 Wh/kg).


Moreover, we now have prismatic cells among battery cells with the highest energy density, which is great because CTP (cell-to-pack) batteries are made with this type of cell.

With the most energy-dense prismatic battery cell on this list we could get around 211 Wh/kg at the battery pack level if using the CTP technology, considering a GCTP (gravimetric cell-to-pack ratio) of 84,5 %.


While the focus of my latest articles has been on CTP battery packs made with cobalt-free LFP and LNMO battery cells, CTP battery packs can also be made with more energy-dense NCM and NCMA battery cells. However, these more expensive chemistries will probably be relegated to premium electric cars in the near future. The massification of electric cars requires cobalt-free batteries.

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

9 Responses

  1. Marcel says:

    Hi Pedro, thanks for another informative article. Is it correct that these high density batteries still need a much more thorough TMS, whether pouch or prismatic? This would affect pack density, even with CTP designs too, I’d guess.
    These cells might need more than just a simple cooling base plate like the Chevy Bolt, and instead would need some form of heat sink or cooling loops going between them. Otherwise wouldn’t there be uneven heat build up in the individual cells?
    We do know how the Model 3 pack and TMS is put together (very complex), but I guess we’d have to know how the other packs are constructed.
    It’s very exciting that they are hitting these kinds of densities in commercially viable products already. I remember when the original iPhone was laughed off by the Blackberry engineers because it would need too much battery. But at this rate we’ll get electrified flight by 2030!

  2. Famlin says:

    Tesla shares skyrocketed to $1,025 to become worlds #1 automaker in market capitalization.
    This is based on the news that their semi (18-wheeler) may launch soon.
    What battery chemistry is used and how many cells, modules, packs are there is a question for our battery expert “Pedro Lima”.
    Thanks to Pedro and his team and all those who read and wrote the comments and all this has contributed to the success of Tesla.

  3. Famlin says:

    Seems there are more Pouch based than Prismatic. Which one will ultimately prevail or we will have the combination of all 3 (pouch, prismatic & cylindrical).
    Another great battery article.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      For battery packs made with modules it’s better to use more energy-dense pouch cells, but the future relies on CTP battery packs, and these require prismatic cells.
      Cylindrical cells will still be used in smaller batteries for power tools, electric bikes and cordless vacuum cleaners for example.

  4. Blablubb says:

    Hi Pedro, nice overview again. Do you know the density of the Panasonic Tesla Model 3 cells made in the US? Would be great if you could expand the list over time with your knowledge on this website, maybe as a crowd sourcing effort

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *