LG Energy Solution is developing LFP battery cells
Korean battery cell makers have been producing almost exclusively NCM battery cells, but according to Korean media, LG Energy Solution will launch LFP (LiFePO4) battery cells already next year.
LFP is a cobalt-free chemistry that allows to produce electric cars that are as cheap as their ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) counterparts. BYD already reached 55 euros per kWh at the battery pack level with the module-less approach.
However, it seems that LG will produce LFP pouch battery cells to be inserted in modules, just like Guoxuan – that expects to reach 260 Wh/kg next year by combining LFP cathode with silicon anode.
The upcoming end of patent restrictions on LFP and the recent problems with fires in NCM battery cells seem to have pushed LG Energy Solution to consider the super-safe and inexpensive LFP chemistry.
Patent restrictions over LFP cathode chemistry will start to expire in 2022, then battery cell makers will be able to produce LFP cells outside China without paying royalties.
Anyway, it’s great to see more battery cell makers adopting cobalt-free chemistries, since they are essential to mass-produce affordable electric cars. LNMO is another cobalt-free chemistry that will be adopted by battery cell makers very soon.
https://roskill.com/news/batteries-the-true-drivers-behind-lfp-demand-new-safety-standards-costs-ip-rights-esg-simplified-battery-pack-designs/ (check point number 3)
My bet is also on Volkswagen with their battery cell factory in Spain. Most likely they’ll just licence Guoxuan/Gotion High Tech’s product or cooperate on production. They already announced the usage of LFP and it’s a winner with their new ID Life.
VW ID4 had NCM battery so I guess not yet.
Way behind China!
Unfortunately for us, Europe is even further behind.
@pedro: BYD price of 55 euros = $65 / kWh and global average of 85 euros = $101 / kWh.
Was this figure latest or at the end of 2020.
LG Chem is World #2 in batteries and they moving towards LFP will further tip the scales and reduce the overall cost of batteries. Gets interesting.
Seems BYD sold 60.000 + plugins last month.
The 55 euros per kWh figure comes from a recent analysis made by Everbright Securities.
Offtopic, but Pedro what do you think of the new US EV tax credit scheme? In my opinion, the high limits (55k for sedan and 70k for SUVs) all but guarantees that manufacturers will continue to overprice their evs.I think the US should follow China’s example and actually reduce subsidies. Subsidies in USA will only prolong the survival of overpriced EVs and therefore prolong the survival of cheaper ICE cars.
I agree, it’ll keep electric cars overpriced.
Subsidies to buy “good” products are counterproductive, I prefer the strategy of taxing or banning “bad” products. The Norwegian model works.
Interesting that they are using pouch cells instead of prismatic. Makes sense since LG is focused on pouch cells so they can reuse their production line machines. When Solid state batteries will come to the market those who are focused on cylindrical cells will have a huge problem since cylindrical cells are not compatible with solid-state batteries. Now I kind of understand why VW is making the unified cell format. LFP, NMx, LMNO, NCM, NCMA and solid-state chemistries all in a single cell format. That probably saves them a huge amount of money.
Any idea what actual cost the current patents are adding?
Always interesting to hear the deveopments in the battery technology, but lapsing patents/reduced costs may have a far larger effect on LFP taking off!
I have no idea, but it seems to be the only thing preventing LFP mass production outside China.
I don´t think LFP patents are delaying EVs. NCM also has patents. The LFP cathode is only one part of the IP equation, then we have anode, electrolite and separator patents, and on top of that patents on manufacturing processes (where LG has a huge advantage) which are equally important. Never heard a car company CEO say LFP patents are the problem (and they have been making up excuses). Moreover the LFP consortium that holds the patents is formed by Canadian, British and French entities who are really betting on electrification (Hydro-Québec). It is in their best interest to make deals before the patents expire to return their investment.
Until now there was no real interest outside China in mass producing EVs. So LG clients weren´t asking for LFP. Now, in my view, LG is going to produce what their European and American clients demand. The rising price of cobalt and nickel and concerns on future availability, the increasing need to sell more (cheaper) cars to comply with Biden and EU future emissions laws and the need to diversify your supply chain to protect you as a company, especially if you only rely on riskier NCM.
Big news. Panasonic next? 😀
Pedro, do you know what kind of batteries are in the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6? Based on this article, https://pushevs.com/2020/04/04/comparison-of-different-ev-batteries-in-2020/.
Hi. Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 are using NCM 811 battery cells from SK Innovation.
So these 11 in 811 means cobalt and manganese, right? And in 80% it is made of from nickel.
Great news – LFP is scalable and well match to most driver’s needs.
So, when will LFP take over the stationary market? There was another “event” at the Moss Landing battery in California, due to overheating. If LFP is becoming a player in EVs, it should be absolutely dominating the utility market, as well as the residential market.
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