Cobalt-free LFP battery cells from Guoxuan to reach 260 Wh/kg by 2022

Volkswagen is the biggest shareholder of the Chinese battery cell maker Guoxuan
Volkswagen is the biggest shareholder of the Chinese battery cell maker Guoxuan

Only behind CATL and BYD, Guoxuan High-Tech Power Energy is China’s third biggest battery cell maker with an annual production capacity expected to reach 28 GWh already this year – enough for more than half-million (560.000) battery packs with 50 kWh each.

Recently the giant German automaker Volkswagen acquired 26 % of Guoxuan’s parent company Gotion that is now preparing for a fast growth. Not only in production capacity, but also in technological advancements.


Regarding production capacity, Guoxuan plans to reach an output of 80 GWh by 2023 and 100 GWh by 2025.

As for energy density goals, according to its vice president Huang Zhangxi, Guoxuan plans to reach 260 Wh/kg with cobalt-free LFP cells and 350 Wh/kg with NCM cells by 2022.


Guoxuan will also strive to improve the energy storage capacity of its batteries, raising the energy density of its lithium iron phosphate batteries to 260 watt-hours per kilogram and that of its MnNiCo ternary batteries to 350 Wh/kg by 2022.



Anyway, currently Guoxuan’s most energy dense LFP battery cells have an energy density around 190 Wh/kg. During this year, Guoxuan expects to reach 210 Wh/kg, but mass production will probably only begin in 2021.

Achieving 260 Wh/kg by 2022 would be extremely impressive for cobalt-free LFP (LiFePO4) battery cells, I suspect that those will be LFMP (high-voltage version of LFP). Considering a GCTPR (gravimetric cell-to-pack ratio) of 85 % that is common in CTP (cell-to-pack) batteries, it would possible to achieve 221 Wh/kg at the battery pack level with those extremely safe, durable and cheap cells.

As for the NCM battery cells that are expected to reach 350 Wh/kg, those are likely to be the NCMA variant, which is the next logical step in NCM/NCA advancements. However, since this kind of cells require a lot more safety equipment when compared to inherently safe LFP/LFMP cells, the GCTPR is always lower. Therefore, we can expect around 250 Wh/kg at the battery pack level with NCMA battery cells.

At the battery pack level, the energy density differences between LFMP and NCMA batteries will be minimal, only justified for more expensive electric cars that require that extra range, no matter the cost. For high-volume production electric cars, cobalt-free LFMP or LNMO batteries will be the better choices.


I’m curious to know if Volkswagen and Guoxuan plan to build cobalt-free batteries in Europe and North America anytime soon.



More info:

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.

18 Responses

  1. dipole says:

    Will they be the batteries used in the 45kwh version of the ID3. They should have space for them in the battery enclosure so they’d be getting a double saving of fewer cells and fewer kwh allowing them to price the ID3 low while still being profitable.
    It may be the reason why they are slow to release the 45kwh version of the ID3 as the battery pack can’t be tested until the battery supplier supplies the batteries.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      That would make me happy.

      We know that Volkswagen likes to follow Tesla’s steps and Tesla is now shipping the Model 3 made in China with LFP batteries to Europe…

  2. Famlin says:

    “annual production capacity expected to reach 28 GWh already this year” – Impressive achievement
    260 Wh / kg seems to be a lofty goal.
    Are the CATL LFP battery in Tesla MIC a prismatic 1.

    This year the LFP seems to be making many gains.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      I really want to see pictures of the LFP battery pack of the Tesla Model 3 MIC, to confirm if it’s a CTP battery made with prismatic cells or not. I think it is.

  3. Rok says:

    What about volumetric figures? If we assume ID3 48kWh battery has similar density as Renault Zoe (somewhere around 171Wh/kg), that would be roughly 60kg reduction in weight. Would they be able to put in a bigger battery or just use that reduction to save on total weight (and with it get a slighlty better range)?

  4. Maximilian Holland says:

    Yes, this is great news. LFP for the win!

  5. Marcel says:

    Great stuff Pedro, thanks. I get very impatient for the EV revolution to really take off, but if what you’re saying is correct, it really looks like we need to wait for the new battery factories for more volume and for these better LFP, LFMP, and LMNO batteries to really get into production before it does. So hopefully 2022?

    I guess for Tesla, and the people who can afford them and like the Tesla style, it already has, but for everyone else it seems we’re not quite there yet.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Hi Marcel.

      Not only more battery cell factories of cobalt-free chemistries are needed, they also have to be located near automakers.

      Cobalt-free batteries will probably only become mainstream when they start being produced locally in North America and Europe.

      CATL’s upcoming battery plant in Germany is expected to have a production capacity of 14 GWh by 2022 and reach 24 GWh in the following years.

      Hopefully, not only Tesla’s cars made in Germany will use those cobalt-free battery cells, but also other automakers such as Renault, Volkswagen or PSA.

      So yes, we’re still two or three years away from the big push.

  6. offgrid says:

    Dear Pedro, this is great news!. Maybe you want to change the title or add a remark because the Company renamed Gotion High-tech Co., Ltd. in April 2020 from the former Guoxuan High-tech Co., Ltd.?

  7. Josef Šoltes says:

    Hi, this is great news for EVs, but terrible news for aviation. I am afraid there will be canibalisation of future research. If LFMP really gets to 260 Whs in 2022, it will be so good and cheap, it will slow down another research of much more energy denser chemistries… And aviation needs at least 400 Wh/kg to start even think about making commercial plane. You can make do with 250 Wh/kg on small UL planes, but you are already pushing it over the limit with 4 seaters and venture into realm of impossible with 10 or more people on board.

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