China Approves NMC Battery Technology For Green Car Subsidies

2 months ago by Eric Loveday 14

New high Density LEAF NMC Stack From 60 kWh Battery Pack (photo courtesy of Daily Kanban)

New high Density LEAF NMC Stack From 60 kWh Battery Pack (which hopefully we actually¬†inside a “new” LEAF in about ~4 weeks time)

Believe it or not, China had, up until now, excluded electric vehicles equipped with nickel, manganese and cobalt (NMC) technology from its government subsidy program. China’s take was that this new technology was simply too unproven and too risky to invest in. Well, as most of us are aware, NMC technology is all the craze these days, especially for next-generation electric vehicles. China seems to be aware of this now too and, as such, has accepted the NMC battery into the subsidy program.

What’s in the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s battery pack? 60 kWh of NMC cells

As Reuters explains:

“China released on Monday this year’s first list of “recommended” green energy vehicles, paving the way for 185 car models to receive government subsidies.”

“Beijing is expected to approve more car models later this year. The government published five lists last year, giving the green light to 2,193 car models.”

“The ministry on Monday also approved several vehicles that use “ternary” lithium-ion batteries, which employ the chemical elements of nickel, cobalt and manganese (NMC).”

China forced automakers to conduct rigorous NMC testing before allow the tech into the government-supported subsidy program. Still, most Chinese automaker prefer the cheaper, less energy dense, but highly stable lithium-iron-phosphate battery technology. This will certainly change over time now that the latest battery tech is approved for subsidies.

Source: Reuters

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16 responses to "China Approves NMC Battery Technology For Green Car Subsidies"

  1. Alan says:

    Muchos rapidos Carlos !

    1. ijonjack says:

      Muchos Gustos il Rapido Action Muchachos ! lol ..

  2. SparkEV says:

    “Rigorous testing” of NMC has been done with SparkEV. 2015+ models charge at almost 2.6C rate at 80%, quickest charging EV in the world, even more than 2014 model’s A123 FeP battery.

    2015+ NMC uses higher percentage of full capacity, almost 100%, compared to 2014’s ~90%.

    Even with all that abuse, anecdotal forum comments show 2015+ NMC has less battery degradation than 2014 in similar years and miles. If there’s any difference, it’s insignificant.

    1. Nick says:

      Super surprising.

      The A123 cells were very popular in the RC community since the could do 60C for 10sec and 30C continually. They also took 1000s of charge cycles before they got 10% capacity loss.

      I wonder why they don’t scale up to EV pack sizes well?

      1. Warren says:

        I personally got out of RC when it was still NiCad. But, as far as I know, from some e-bicyclists who use it for its cheap, high power, the RC stuff is all LiCoO2 chemistry now. Most e-bicyclists now run NMC, as it has gotten more reasonably priced, has pretty high power, and is much safer.

        1. Nick says:

          “is much safer”

          NMC is much safer?!

          A123 cell penetration:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rb_J2QQ0k-4

          NMC cell penetration:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F22zfGktVlw

  3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    So, trying to read between the lines here…

    The Chinese government didn’t like the way that Chinese battery cells were losing out in competition with newer li-ion battery cells which use more NMC in the chemistry; cells such as LG Chem’s new, cheaper-per-kWh cells.
    So they disallowed any government subsidies for such battery cells, or cars built using them.

    But now Chinese companies are starting to copy that tech, ignoring patents as they almost always do, so the Chinese government is removing that restriction.

    Of course that’s speculation on my part, not fact, but it certainly fits the long-established pattern of flagrant and pervasive protectionism in China.

    1. Mister G says:

      It will become much harder for Chinese government to be protectionist because Chinese economy is becoming more consumer based and service based, in other words just like the USA.

      1. SJC says:

        BYD and other Chinese companies did not have NMC so it did not receive subsidies.

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      It’s not necessarily that the domestics are ready for the technology, but that if they don’t change the subsidies the domestics will never be ready.

  4. Someone out there says:

    Very good! NMC is a well balanced chemistry. Not the best in anything but good enough in every important metric.

  5. romboiii says:

    Reuters info (and Insideevs headline) are both misleading. In previous years, electric buses with NCM were indeed not subsidized. For passenger cars, however, there are dozens of examples for 2015 and 2016 NCM cars that were indeed subsidized, in line with subsidy guidelines at the time.

  6. SJC says:

    The point is the central communist government in China can change their minds anytime they want.

    1. Jason says:

      Any government can change it’s mind any time it wants. Isn’t that most of the comment about the Trump government at the moment? Changing all the rules because they don’t believe in climate change and the effects fossil fuels are having?

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