SVOLT Energy Technology (the former Battery Business Unit of Great Wall Motor Co.) announced that its all-new cobalt-free NMx lithium-ion battery cells are now available for order.

This new chemistry was first announced in June 2019 and presented in May 2020, as a major competitor to the rising NCM811 chemistry.

The main difference to NCM is the lack of cobalt in the cathode and reduced share of Nickel to 75%. The remaining 25% is manganese. To make such a setup work, the company has developed special doping and coating processes.

As a result, the NMx cells offer similar energy density to NCM (about 5% lower, according to SVOLT), but are also about 5% less expensive. Additionally, the cycle aging, as well as the calendar (over 2,500 undisclosed cycles) aging, is reportedly improved compared to a conventional NCM type.

SVOLT lithium-ion battery cell (NMx)

Initially, two versions of the NMx cells will be available for order. The production of the first one will start in June 2021 in Jintan, China. Around 2023, the upcoming gigafactory in Saarlouis, Germany might also produce NMx cells.

Let's take a look at the specs of the NMx cells:

SVOLT NMx 115 Ah

The first version is available for order now. The most interesting thing about this cell is that it's the same format used in Volkswagen's Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) platform:

  • capacity of 115 Ah
  • energy of 430 Wh (396 Wh usable)
  • nominal voltage of 3.74 V
  • energy density of 245 Wh/kg
  • MEB format (33.4 x 220 x 102.5 mm)
  • weight 1.76 kg
  • more than 2,500 charging cycles (unspecified)

SVOLT NMx 226 Ah

The second type will be available in Q4 2021 and is in SVOLT's own cell format L6:

  • capacity of 226 Ah
  • energy density of 240 Wh/kg
  • L6 format (21.5 x 574 x 118 mm)
  • "L-cells are long battery cells in a thin prismatic design with laterally positioned electrodes and degassing valves"
  • more than 2,500 charging cycles (unspecified)

More versions of the NMx cells will follow.

More about the NMx chemistry:

"With the help of the new technology, SVOLT has also succeeded in significantly improving the cycle aging as well as the calendar aging of the NMX cells compared to conventional NCM battery cells. Among other things, more than 2,500 charging cycles can be achieved in this way. SVOLT achieves the long service life of the NMX battery cells through a specially developed cathode material. A single crystal with a wafer-thin surface coating (“nano-coating”) consisting of just a few hundred molecules is used.

Within the battery cell, the single crystal reduces one of the main causes for the aging of e-vehicle batteries: the formation of micro-cracks and breaks in the active cathode material and thus the wear and tear of the cell. At the same time, the coating, which is only a few nanometers thick, protects the surface of the cathode material used from side reactions with the electrolyte. SVOLT significantly slows down the cell aging of its NMX battery cells.

SVOLT also uses a supplementary doping process, in which foreign atoms, the so-called doping material, are introduced into the cathode material and positioned there. In this way, SVOLT not only succeeds in stabilizing the NMX cells without cobalt, but also in increasing the mobility of the lithium ions in the cathode and the conductivity - and thus the performance of the battery." - via Google

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