NCM 712 by LG Chem: E66A and E78 battery cells in detail

LG Chem pouch battery cell
LG Chem pouch battery cell

While most battery cell makers have been adopting NCM 811 as their preferred battery technology for energy dense cathodes, LG Chem bet heavily on mass production of NCM 712 battery cells.

NCM 811 offers better energy density and battery cells can easily reach 300 Wh/kg, but NCM 712 offers lower cost by using less nickel and more manganese. At the cell level the cost of NCM 811 is currently estimated at around 90 euros per kWh, while NCM 712 is estimated at around 80 euros per kWh.

We now know for sure that the South Korean battery cell maker has at least two different NCM 712 battery cell models. The E78, which is a long battery cell aimed for more modern electric cars with flat and simpler battery packs and the E66A, which is a smaller battery cell better suited for electric cars with non-flat battery packs.

The first energy dense battery cell from LG Chem was the LGX E63, made with a NCM 622 cathode. Previously, pouch battery cells from LG Chem had very poor energy density.

LG Chem LGX E63

  • Nominal Capacity: 65,6 Ah (discharged at 21,6 A) – 64,8 Ah (discharged at 32,5 A)
  • Minimum Capacity: 64,6 Ah (discharged at 21,6 A) – 63,8 Ah (discharged at 32,5 A)
  • Nominal Voltage: 3,6 V
  • Charging Voltage: 4,2 V
  • Thickness: 11,5 mm
  • Width: 125 mm
  • Height: 325 mm
  • Volume: 0,4671875 L
  • Weight: 964,9 g
  • Volumetric Energy Density: 492-505 Wh/L
  • Gravimetric Energy Density: 238-245 Wh/kg
  • Chemistry: NCM 622

This was the first battery cell to give the Renault ZOE a decent range with a 41 kWh battery in late 2016, almost doubling it from the previous generation.

LG Chem E66A

  • Nominal Capacity: 65 Ah
  • Minimum Capacity: 63,5 Ah
  • Nominal Voltage: 3,657 V
  • Nominal energy: 237,7 Wh
  • Minimum energy: 232,2 Wh
  • Thickness: 11,7 mm
  • Width: 104 mm
  • Height: 350 mm
  • Volume: 0,425880 L
  • Weight: 897 g
  • Volumetric Energy Density: 648 Wh/L
  • Gravimetric Energy Density: 259 Wh/kg
  • Chemistry: NCM 712

The E66A was made to be a direct replacement for the E63 battery cell. Capacities are very similar, but dimensions and weight are lower. This battery cell is used in the battery pack of the Porsche Taycan, which doesn’t much sense. The large and flat battery pack of the Porsche Taycan could benefit from the usage of longer cells such as the E78.

While not sure, I think that this battery cell is also used by the Renault Twingo Electric and the latest versions of the Hyundai Kona Electric and Chevrolet Bolt EV.

LG Chem E78

  • Capacity: 78 Ah
  • Voltage: 3,65 V
  • Length: above 500 mm (exact dimensions aren’t known)
  • Weight: 1.073 g
  • Gravimetric energy density: 265 Wh/kg
  • Chemistry: NCM 712

This larger battery cell was made to be used in more modern electric cars that have flat and simpler battery packs, such as the new Volkswagen ID family with its MEB platform. Nonetheless, it’s also used by the new generation Renault ZOE.

Larger battery cells allow to assemble simpler high capacity battery packs, by requiring less cells and modules.

Anyway, LG Chem will soon be replacing NCM 712 with NCMA battery cells, which offer similar energy density but are much safer.

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.

20 Responses

  1. Barry says:

    Can I assume VW’s mention of high manganese content cells (at Power Day) refers to NCM 712 cells? Or is the VW statement too vague to make any assumptions?

  2. Sams says:

    Thanks Pedro. Here you talk about energy density around 260 Wh/kg, but cars equipped with those batteries like the Zoe or Kona are more around 150-170 Wh/kg. This is a huge difference, where does it come from, is one at the cell level and the other at the pack level (with electronic connexions and cooling system)? But still, the difference is huge, lots of energy lost somewhere it seems.

    • Freddy says:

      yeahp… the packing of the cells in modules and pack affects heavily the gravimetric and volumetric energy wise…

    • Stefan says:

      Just an anal correction: between the cell-level and pack-level, the energy is not lost, but the volume is. Since you need filler volume between (groups of) cells with all the miscellaneous you mentioned.

  3. Freddy says:

    The korean battery companies should be heavilly affected by the shift announced at VW battery/energy day… when can we have your insights on this Pedro?

  4. nono538 says:

    Hello Pedro,
    Do you have any details about LG cells specifications of Renault E-Tech PHEV (LG pack 400V 9,8kWh) on Captur or Megane Estate ? Do you believe they are similar to E78 cells from ZOE? Thanks for comments, always appreciate the exchanges.

    • Ralf K. says:

      My best guess:
      9.8 kWh = 96s x 3,75 V x 27.22 Ah

      This would be similar to the 26 Ah of the original Chevrolet Volt Gen 2 prismatic pouch cells (Model Year 2016).

      Different than E78 from Zoe. PHEV use (Megane, Captur) needs way more cycles and more power density. And the PHEV application needs cells with less capacity per cell, to have 96s of them in series and still a neat small battery pack for PHEV use.

  5. Famlin says:

    @Pedro: Kind request, can you please change the dimension to standard terms like length, width, height. Thickness is somewhat confusing.
    For pouch cells, the max height is the height.

    I thought only SK Innovation was using pouch format, even the LG Chem is using?

    No wonder, VW dumped all of them and their pouch for much proven voluminous prismatic battery. Also the Koreans dont buy imported vehicles, so why should VW buy their products.

    Nice to see cobalt content going down.

    • antrik says:

      LG is the major proponent of pouch cells. They are used in a vast number of EVs from various global makers. While VW uses mostly canned prismatic cells, they haven’t “dumped” LG’s pouch cells either.

  6. Famlin says:

    If it costs “NCM 712 is estimated at around 80 euros per kWh” at cell level, then how much will it cost at pack level, may be 110 euros. If so then its around $130 / kWh.

    Thats very impressive for high density NCM.

  7. Famlin says:

    With VW moving to prismatic, we are narrowing down to 2 formats.
    Prismatic vs Cylindrical.

    Has anyone thought about Hexagonal prism or Octagonal prism. These 2 shapes will also leave some place in between just like cylindrical.
    That would be interesting. I dont think about triangular prism, but 4 triangles next to each other will be like square.

    Game of battery shapes.

    • antrik says:

      Either you have rolled electrodes (cylindrical) or more or less flat ones (prismatic). There is no other option.

  8. Marcel says:

    Thanks Pedro. The upcoming battery free-for-all that’s going to happen over the next 5 r so years is going to be amazing to watch. Which car companies will lock into specific NCM cells and get stuck with batteries that are too expensive?

    With LMNO, NCMA, LFMP, and then other tech like solid state coming along, car makers are going to have to make their designs flexible enough to accommodate quick switches to different cell technology.

    • antrik says:

      Switching chemistries is not hard, as long as they don’t come in different cell formats.

  9. Davide Cavaliere says:

    Hi Pedro,
    Thank you for the information.
    Do you have any info on empirical data obtained testing these batteries (charge/discharge cycles depending on temperature and C-rate)?
    I am looking for detailed info on cells measurements, but I am not sure where to look for.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Hi Davide.

      If you can find some online sellers, there’s a chance they provide the datasheet pdf. Unfortunately I don’t have it.

      For example, it was a Chinese seller that released the datasheet of the E63 battery cell that we all know.

      • Davide Cavaliere says:

        Ok, thank you.
        I was looking to some deep benchmarking of these cells (and other too), not only the nominal voltage (V), capacity (Ah) and energy (Wh), but also the charging/discharging cycles measurement data.
        I am working on BMS and Automotive Electrification in general, so I am looking for this data for my job. I guess that the only way to obtain such data is to get it measured by some benchmarking company (A2mac1 or similar), I am not sure the manufacturers can disclose such measured data to anyone.

  10. Ralf K. says:

    See this video for cells by LG Energy for Ford Mustang Mach-E:

    LGX E71a pouch cells
    71 Ah presumably, while Ford uses 72 Ah in their calculations for gross capacity.

    The cells have the same size as LGChem cells in Chevrolet Bolt, but with a different chemistry.

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