SK On is considering developing LFP batteries


SK Innovation’s battery unit, SK On, is now finally considering developing LFP (LiFePO4) batteries for electric vehicles. This decision comes shortly after its domestic competitor, LG Energy Solution announced that’s already developing EV batteries with this cobalt-free chemistry – that should become available next year.


According to SK On top officials, the biggest advantages of the LFP battery chemistry are cost and safety.


Jee Dong-seob, CEO of SK On, admitted to Reuters that “there is an interest in LFP technology from automakers”.


For a long time Korean battery cell makers have ignored and demised LFP as a low quality Chinese battery chemistry compared to “much superior” NCM batteries made by domestic companies. Only very recently Korean battery cell makers started to recognize that the LFP chemistry has very appealing characteristics to automakers, such as low cost and high safety, which are essential to mass produce electric cars and make them mainstream.


Anyway, it’s always great to see another battery cell maker jumping on the LFP bandwagon. By next year this cobalt-free battery chemistry will experience considerable improvements in the energy and power density areas.



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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.

5 Responses

  1. Barry says:

    Pedro, are there any expiring patents on LFP chemistry that is causing companies like SK to “suddenly” show an interest in LFP? Or are they only publicly talking up LFP because of said patents expiry?

    • Pedro Lima says:

      I think that growing safety concerns with EV battery fires and the end of LFP’s patent restrictions are the main reasons for the sudden interest from Korean battery cell makers.

      • Pajda says:

        In my opinion, the main reason for the recent growing interest in LFP is that only ca 2 years ago, thanks to exceeding the limit of 400 Wh/l and 200 Wh/kg, LFP just start become usable for the EU and US vehicles (at least 200 miles of EPA/WLTP range).

        • Pedro Lima says:

          True. Moreover, CTP (cell-to-pack) technology was really important to push the LFP chemistry.

  2. famlin says:

    Excellent news: SK On considers joining LG Chem (plans to produce) and Samsung (already produces ) in LFP bandwagon.
    Move to LFP is because of

    BYD already has LFP as primary battery while Tesla has it as secondary battery.
    Its the combo of LFP + NMx that is needed to take on Petromobiles. 

    Seems 357.000 new energy vehicles are sold in china in 2021-09. Of these
    BEV: 297.000
    PHEV: 61.000
    FCEV:  173

    Of these some 37.000 are exports and this needs to be deducted. Overall BEVs command 82% share among NEV.

    Diesel has taken a knockout punch last month in Europe. 

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