As reported by The Korean times, LG’s new battery business unit is set to become the first company to produce batteries with nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum anode materials (NCMA) for electric vehicles next year. LG Energy Solution is ready to supply the NCMA batteries to Tesla, according to industry sources.
LG Energy Solution has stated that it will produce the battery, 90 percent of which will be made of nickel, starting in the second half of 2021.
Regarding the supply of the battery to Tesla, an official from LG Energy Solution said: “We cannot confirm this because we cannot specify the names of our customers.”
But the company is strengthening production capacity at its Nanjing, China, plant. The plant makes cylindrical battery cells that are used in Tesla vehicles.
It is reported that the company will provide NCMA batteries for the Tesla Model Y.
LG previously partnered with General Motors to produce the battery for 2022. But LG’s production earlier than expected and delivery scheduled for next year may speed manufacturing with GM.
LG and GM have established a joint venture to manufacture Ultium batteries by 2022. Ultium Cells will produce NCMA batteries for GM electric vehicles at its Lordstown, Ohio plant.
The cathode of the NCMA battery is 90 percent nickel and the cobalt percentage is below five percent.
The high percentage of nickel increases the energy density and allows electric vehicles to travel a distance of 600 kilometers per charge. Existing batteries only allowed vehicles to travel 500 kilometers per charge.
LG Energy Solution reduced battery costs by reducing the use of cobalt and replacing it with aluminum. Aluminum is known to balance the instability that can arise in the high energy density cathode.
LG Energy Solution referred to Hanyang University professor Sun Yang-kook’s article stating that the NCMA battery outperforms Samsung’s NCA battery and SK’s NCM9, both of which have a nickel percentage of around 90 percent in capacity, battery life and endurance. Sun has been listed by Clarivate Analytics in 2019 as a researcher with much-cited work in materials science.
The company will be supplied with the battery by L&F, a local manufacturer of cathode materials for secondary batteries.
LG Energy Solution has made a 1.45 billion deal with the company. L&F is run by Huh Je-hong, great-grandson of the late LG Group co-founder Huh Man-jung.
L&F made a regulatory filing Wednesday outlining the agreement to supply cathode materials to the company over the next two years.
POSCO Chemical is supplying cathode materials for Ultium Cells. It is installing a production line in Gwangyang, South Jeolla province as reported.