LG Chem's LG Energy Solution (LGES) expands its battery offer with LFP (lithium iron phosphate) lithium-ion chemistry, which is gaining popularity as the most cost-effective.

We already heard the rumors about LFP developments in 2021, which were later confirmed by the way of LGES's IPO.

This month, Jorg Jurgens, LGES director of energy storage systems EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), has revealed at the Smarter E event in Munich, Germany that LFP chemistry will join the NMC in new energy storage products.

One of the most interesting things is that the upcoming two LFP battery cell types will be produced at the wholly-owned lithium-ion battery cell plant in Holland, Michigan, which in March was approved for a $1.7 billion expansion.

According to pv magazine, the two new cells will be produced in the same format and sizes as the current cells (for easy use in the same modules and racks as before), which suggests that those will be LFP pouch cells (instead of prismatic, as we see usually).

The two LFP cells in the pipeline will enter the market in 2023 and 2024:

  • standard size cell - production start by October 2023
  • long size cell - production by Q4 2024

We guess that there is a chance that the long-size cells potentially might be used in electric vehicles, but there is no confirmation.

Assuming that the existing plant in Holland has a manufacturing capacity of 5 GWh annually, and the expansion will be "fivefold", there might be a total of 25 GWh annually in a few years, including some 20 GWh of LFP cells.

"The new battery cells will be made in Holland in the US state of Michigan, with double-digit gigawatt-scale production lines being added to the facility, Jurgens said."

According to Businesskorea, LGES and other South Korean manufacturers are also looking for a different cobalt-free battery - the LNMO, in which cobalt is replaced by a higher proportion of manganese.

It should make the cells less expensive, but probably requires a lot of development to not sacrifice energy density or other parameters too much.

We are eager to see more solutions competing against each other in the entry-level EV and energy storage segments, as they are crucial to making EVs more affordable.

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