Guoxuan High-Tech Co Ltd., a Chinese battery manufacturer, has introduced this month a new high-energy-density lithium iron phosphate (LFP) lithium-ion battery cell.
The company claims that the new cells are rated at 210 Wh/kg, which is a world record and on par with NCM523 lithium-ion cells, not far from NCM622. The previous record was 200 Wh/kg, set also by Guoxuan, in 2020.
It's amazing progress, because about 10 years ago, LFP was at half of that - around 100 Wh/kg, and reached 140 Wh/kg in 2015.
The key solution to increase the cell energy density was a successful application of silicon anode material (first time), "the industrialization of pre-lithiation technology", as well as an in-house developed high-performance LFP cathode.
- Cell type: pouch cell
- 176 Wh (55 Ah; 3.2 V)
- Weight: 830 g
- Energy density: 212 Wh/kg
- Cathode capacity: 150 mAh/g
- Cathode compaction density: 2.4 g/cc
We guess that on the pack level, it might go up to about 180 Wh/kg (compared to 160 Wh/kg today).
The mass production of those new cells might start as early as late 2021/early 2022.
One of the most interesting things is that Guoxuan targets 230 Wh/kg this year and 260 Wh/kg in 2022.
Another new thing from Guoxuan is the JTM (Jellyroll to Module) tech, which as we understand, is the integrated manufacturing technology from the core of the cell to the module.
The company has shown an example JTM battery as a replacement to the automotive lead-acid battery (but there might be other sizes and applications):
- 256 Wh (20Ah; 12.8V)
- half the size of lead-acid battery
- weight of 1.75 kg (compared to 7 kg of lead-acid battery)
- life span of more than 3,000 weeks (compared to 600 weeks or 5 years of lead-acid battery)
- similar cost to lead-acid batteries
Guoxuan is one of the largest Chinese lithium-ion battery manufacturers, although not as large as CATL and BYD.
According to the latest data, provided by Moneyball, Guoxuan delivered 3.3 GWh for New Energy Vehicles in China in 2020 (5.2% of total), including 0.94 GWh in December! CATL delivered almost 32 GWh (50% of total), while BYD 9.5 GWh.
Guoxuan's plan envisions the expansion of manufacturing capacity from 13 GWh to 28 GWh per year (about now - 2020/2021) and then increase to 80 GWh by 2023, 100 GWh by 2025.
The opportunity for growth is high, as in 2020 some 26% of the company was acquired by Volkswagen (for €1.1 billion).