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Possible new battery technology

1115 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  918Nate
I’d place this one in the rumor category for now:
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Currently there are 3 battery chemistries used in most EV's.

1. NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt)
2. NCO (Nickel Cobalt Aluminum)
3. LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate)

The first two are referred to as "ternary batteries" and are more energy dense. They typically have a lifespan of 800 cycles, and best suited to charge between 20-80%.
LFP are less energy dense, but can go from 0-100% with less degradation, and have a lifespan of 2000+ cycles. They are also significantly cheaper because they don't use Nickel and Cobalt, which are expensive, and ethically challenging because of child labor mining in Africa where most of the Cobalt is found.

BYD came out with the blade battery a few years ago, a LFP battery that can be punctured with a nail and driven over by a dump truck. They said the industry was chasing energy density at the expense of safety and longevity. Since then, almost the entire industry is switching to LFP batteries. Even Elon Musk said LFP was the future. Energy density in LFP have increased by 20% in the past few years. CATL and BYD (#1 & #3 battery manufacturers in the world) are way ahead of their competitors in LFP production, so companies like LG Chem, Panasonic and SK, who are more versed in NMC and NCO chemistries, are struggling to catch up. BYD are supplying LFP batteries to Toyota, Ford and Tesla, and I'm sure there are others.

We don't really know what the next battery break though will be, Solid State still seems like vaporware, Sodium instead of Lithium looks promising. I'm no Sandy Munroe, but if SK are working on a battery that is 90% cobalt, as this article suggests, they are headed in the wrong direction. Again chasing energy density at the expense of everything else. Companies are trying to get away from Cobalt, not increase it.
Bottom line, current batteries will outlive the vehicle. Batteries are going to get better and cheaper over time. Sure Ford's 2025 truck will have an improved battery over the 2022 model, I would be more concerned if it didn't. But that is no reason to not buy an EV now.
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