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.