Asian Tech Press reports that LG Chem and Huayou Cobalt's joint venture LG BCM next week will start construction of a new plant in Gumi, South Korea that will produce NCMA cathodes (nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum).
This is LG Chem's latest high-energy dense solution, which has higher energy density and lower cost than the NCM 811 cathode chemistry (nickel:cobalt:manganese at a ratio of 8:1:1). It's a perfect fit for long-range electric vehicles. NCMA's nickel content is also above 80% (85%, according to previous reports).
LG Chem initially planned to use NCMA cathode materials from L&F (an external supplier), but it seems that it now intends to commercialize its in-house solution.
As far as we know, LG Chem's LG Energy Solution NCMA battery chemistry is used by the Ultium Cells joint venture with GM (pouch cells) and was expected to be used also by Tesla in China (2170 cylindrical cells) instead of NCM 811. We assume that NCMA is a competitive solution to Panasonic's NCA.
LG Chem's LG Energy Solution is also preparing to launch its own LFP batteries for energy storage systems and electric vehicles. Those two battery chemistries might be the two most important growth patches in the next several years.
The battery race never stops. Moreover, it appears that it accelerates as the business expands at an extremely fast.
Manufacturers develop new, upgraded battery chemistries to increase energy density and lower cobalt content on one side, and new low-cost solutions that are good enough for basic/standard EVs on the other.
The batteries are getting better and better and we are not even talking about breakthroughs and solid-state batteries that might bring a step increase at some point in the future.