Imagine a modern battery without cobalt. That is not difficult: they are already for sale. Now imagine one without nickel. We have LFP, right? Well, CATL has recently disclosed it is working on a new battery without cobalt and nickel. And no, it is not LFP, but something new. What sort of chemistry could this be?
The information came from Meng Xiangfeng, a senior executive at the giant Chinese battery manufacturer. He was in an industry conference at the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers in Shanghai when he talked about this new battery, according to Reuters.
Unfortunately, that was pretty much all the executive said about the new battery apart from the fact that CATL's goal is to avoid expensive metals. If cost is the concern, we can assume the new chemistry has the goal of lowering battery prices without losing too much performance.
In other words, this solution could compete with LFP in terms of cost, but we have no idea how it would perform regarding energy density. What we can imagine is that it is competitive. Otherwise, the world's biggest battery manufacturer would not care to develop it nor to go public about doing so. We'd bet CATL will announce more details in the next few months.
For our readers that are also specialists in batteries, we leave these questions: what could this new chemistry be? Li-S, perhaps? Which other known chemistries would fit the description Xiangfeng gave at the conference?
Whatever this is, any solution that helps to bring battery prices down is welcome. EV adoption needs more affordable cars to pick up more aggressively. It also needs to address environmental concerns that replacing engines for motors will not be just a matter of choosing what we want to kill the world with: oil or mining.