British chemical company Johnson Matthey promises high-energy, low-cost eLNO battery material, better than NMC 622, NMC 811 and even Tesla/Panasonic's NCA materials.

The eLNO (lithium nickel oxide) seems to be a nickel-rich and cobalt-free cathode that, according to press release, improves energy density, and lowers costs, while at the same time maintaining other factors like recharging, power output or safety.

After positive feedback from customers during testing, Johnson Matthey is building a demonstration-scale plant in Clitheroe, UK. The facility will provide 1,000 tonnes per year (sample quantities) for battery manufacturers around the world.

The second step is the full-scale production facility in mainland Europe that from 2021/2022 would be able to supply 10,000 tons per year. That's still not much - maybe 100,000 long-range electric cars, but it's positive news to see new concepts for battery materials on the horizon.

Alan Nelson, Sector Chief Executive, New Markets and Group Chief Technology Officer, Johnson Matthey said in December 2017 during JM New Markets Sector Conference Call:

"… we benchmarked against NMC 811, 622 and, of course, NCA. The key differentiator for eLNO is that we’re able to have higher energy density at lower cost. So, if you think of that important ratio of dollars per kilowatt hour, we have the lowest total cost, dollars-per-kilowatt basis than of any of the other materials. But more importantly, we’re able to do that without sacrificing any of the other attributes.

So, we’re equal to or better than the performance across, again, 622 or 811. That’s the key differentiator here, is that we’re able to offer better performance at a lower cost while not sacrificing recharge, while we’re not sacrificing power, we’re not sacrificing safety. And that’s the key element that’s there. So, we’re able to maintain performance across all of the key performance factors."

Does that mean more range at a lower price is coming?

Johnson Matthey eLNO battery material

Johnson Matthey eLNO battery material

Source: Johnson Matthey via Green Car Congress