SVOLT starts testing its LNMO cobalt-free battery

SVOLT starts testing its LNMO cobalt-free battery
SVOLT in-vehicle testing its LNMO cobalt-free battery

Last May in an online presentation SVOLT gave us more information about its NMx cobalt-free battery cell that’ll arrive next year.

This long cobalt-free battery cell from SVOLT is specially made to be used in battery packs assembled with the CTP (cell-to-pack) technology.

 

226 Ah battery cell

  • Capacity: 226 Ah
  • Nominal voltage: 3,81 V
  • Max charging voltage: 4,35 V
  • Energy: 861 Wh
  • Weight: 3,59 kg (estimation)
  • Dimensions: 575 (length) x 21,5 (thickness) x 118 (height) mm
  • Volume: 1,459 L
  • Gravimetric energy density: 240 Wh/kg
  • Volumetric energy density: 590 Wh/L
  • Chemistry: LNMO

 

At the online presentation SVOLT announced that battery cells with this technology would be produced at capacities up to 226 Ah, but now SVOLT is in-vehicle testing a lower capacity version with 115 Ah.

 

115 Ah battery cell

  • Capacity: 115 Ah
  • Nominal voltage: 3,81 V
  • Max charging voltage: 4,35 V
  • Energy: 438 Wh
  • Weight: 1,8 kg (estimation)
  • Dimensions: 220 (length) x 33 (thickness) x 102,5 (height) mm
  • Volume: 0,744150 L
  • Gravimetric energy density: 242 Wh/kg
  • Volumetric energy density: 589 Wh/L
  • Chemistry: LNMO

 

 

Hypothetical battery pack 1 (226 Ah)

  • Cell disposition: 96s1p
  • Capacity: 82,7 kWh (96 x 3,81 V x 226 Ah)
  • Voltage: 366 V

 

Hypothetical battery pack 2 (115 Ah)

  • Cell disposition: 96s1p
  • Capacity: 42 kWh (96 x 3,81 V x 115 Ah)
  • Voltage: 366 V

 

With two very different battery capacities SVOLT can produce cobalt-free battery packs for small and big electric cars. PSA is the first European automaker to sign a battery supply contract with SVOLT, but more should soon follow.

A FIAT Centoventi with an affordable and safe 42 kWh cobalt-free battery that handles 2.500 cycles would be awesome, wouldn’t it?

 

FIAT Concept Centoventi

 

Anyway, LNMO isn’t the only cobalt-free chemistry being tested, LFMP (high-voltage version of LFP) is also being developed by Chinese companies. Meanwhile, Japanese and Korean battery cell makers still don’t show signs of having alternatives to more expensive NCA and NCM chemistries. As for European companies, the project COBRA is an attempt to recover lost time.

 

 

More info:

https://www.winackbattery.com/news/test-data-of-cobalt-free-battery.html

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.
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Konalight
Konalight
2 months ago

Lovely FIAT concept! On topic: thanks for the good news.

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
2 months ago
Reply to  Konalight

Yes it is! The Centoventi Concept is expected to become the next generation Panda model.

Pit
Pit
2 months ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Will it be even after the FCA-PSA merge?

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
2 months ago
Reply to  Pit

I hope so.

Famlin
Famlin
2 months ago

LNMO is 3rd battery chemistry without Cobalt after LFMP & LFP. Very nice and NCMO has a high 240 Wh/kg. I believe this is prismatic cell. I hope they reveal the cost of this cell.Β 

Well battery day is 11 days + if you count the hours as well. Exciting news.

Marcel
Marcel
2 months ago

This is exciting, thanks for the good news.

Question: if it’s not a spinel type cathode, what type would it be? Also, is there any indication that LMNO requires cooling systems? What kind of charging rates can be applied to this type of battery?

Between this one and better LFP batteries showing up, we might indeed start to see much more affordable EVs in the next couple of years.

Side note: what do you make of the GAC Aion cars in China catching fire and the company reportedly replacing the 811 batteries with 523 versions?

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
2 months ago
Reply to  Marcel

Hi Marcel, sorry for the late reply.

Normally charge/discharge cycles make LNMO cathodes transition from layered to spinel structures, but this cathode made by SVOLT seems to maintain its layered structure, which is better “organized” and able to store more lithium ions.
comment image

https://sci-hub.tw/https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2211285519300679

However, this SVOLT’s battery cell is still a mystery to me since LNMO cells usually operate at 4,7 V, but this cell has a nominal voltage of 3,8 V, which is what we would expect from a LMO cell.
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Yes, any cell with manganese requires a good TMS, since at high temperatures manganese tends to get dissolved by the electrolyte. This was the main problem with first generation Nissan LEAF.

https://sci-hub.tw/https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10008-015-2998-1

I expect 2-3 C-rate fast charging from this cell. The hypothetical 42 kWh battery pack should be able to charge at (more or less) 126 kW.

Regarding fires with electric cars in China, they seem to happen everyday. Even electric cars with super safe LFP batteries are burning up, which makes me think that the problem might be with poor assembling of the packs (especially cabling). Chinese automakers are encouraged to assemble world’s most energy dense battery packs, sometimes at the expense of safety.

Marcel
Marcel
2 months ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Thanks for the explanation Pedro. The first article was very interesting, although a bit over my head. Kind of Makes me wish I’d stayed in science many years ago, because it would be really interesting building battery materials like that.

I wonder if SVolt’s new chemistry is using different materials than the Sodium and Flouride doping used in the paper to maintain the layered structure? Maybe something that doesn’t have the same strong electron bonding, so the lithium ions can leave the cathode more easily? But that does seem like a big voltage difference, so maybe they have a different method altogether?

Hopefully SVolt can make these more cheaply than their NMC competitors. Looking forward to seeing them actually show up in a consumer vehicle.

Glad to hear they can recharge so quickly. I feel like an EV that can charge at 2C with a decent sized battery (45-60kwh) is adequate for most people’s needs.

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
2 months ago
Reply to  Marcel

I really don’t know what materials they used.

https://youtu.be/Amnu5FBL58g?t=2161

https://www.winackbattery.com/news/test-data-of-cobalt-free-battery.html (interesting test data)

Anyway, we’ll know more when SVOLT publish the datasheets at its website.

https://en.svolt.cn/products/info?id=1&type=11

Marcel
Marcel
2 months ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Very interesting, thanks for the links. The test data is very interesting. I noticed the video and the test data article both indicated the cells are at 4.3V, so maybe the cells are actually at that voltage?

The video also mentions they use 2 different elements to dope the crystal, so it’ll be interesting to see if they are using sodium and flouride like the science paper was using.

Both cell types (standard cell 115Ah and blade type 226Ah) seem to have good gravimetric and volumetric energy density, so if they also are cheaper than NMC and have better charging and durability, and they are denser than LFP, then they seem to hit a real sweet spot.

I also liked seeing the CTP pack with the blade style cells, allows better cooling systems.

So we have Tesla Battery day coming up, and then we have to wait until next year for SVolt. Hopefully there’s more battery news between the two events. πŸ™‚

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
2 months ago
Reply to  Marcel

4,3 V is the charging voltage at 100 % SOC, as you can see from the stress tests.
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You can actually calculate the nominal voltage from the data that SVOLT showed us.
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With the dimensions we can calculate the volume.

  • Volume: 1,459 L

With the volume and volumetric energy density we can calculate the energy.

Energy = Volume x VED = 590 Wh/L x 1,459 L = 860,81 Wh

Knowing the energy and current we can calculate the voltage.

Voltage = Energy / Current = 860,81 Wh / 226 Ah = 3,81 V

Marcel
Marcel
2 months ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Ah right, thanks. I missed that it was the charging voltage and not the cell voltage.

antrik
antrik
30 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

That first paper seems very interesting (I wish I could read it in full….) — but it’s talking about lithium-rich cathodes. This is a type of high-voltage cathode that has been researched for years, but with little progress in the past in making it more stable… While this recent research might finally provide the needed breakthrough, don’t expect it to be production-ready for several more years.

One bit I find particularly intriguing is that they are using a manganese to nickel ratio of 3:1, which so far I have only seen in HV-spinel (another research branch), but not in layered oxide cathodes…

Famlin
Famlin
2 months ago

Today the 1st unit of VW ID.3 the 1st model from their MEB architecture went on sale. For those who thought of buying VW e-Golf, VW e-Up, Skoda Citigo, Seat Mii;Β ID.3 is the next viable option.

Will VW sell ID.3 in 100s, 1000s will be known soon.
Their original plan may be to sell on or after Sep-22 (Fall 2020 start) since they started the production on 2019-11-04 (Fall 2019), but the Tesla Battery Day in Sep-22, so VW wanted to sell few days earlier so that the owners and the entire mainstream media talks about ID.3 as Tesla killer.

Maximilian Holland
Maximilian Holland
2 months ago

Great to see this diversity of approaches to commercial batteries, and no need for cobalt. However, the cost potential of the technology is the crucial piece – do we have any solid information about this?

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
2 months ago

Nothing solid as they haven’t arrived to the market yet, but the kWh of LNMO battery cells is expected to be more expensive than LFP/LFMP and cheaper than NCM 811.
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Maximilian Holland
Maximilian Holland
2 months ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Great – thanks Pedro!