LG Chem is using more high nickel batteries with over 80% nickel for its batteries, according to data from Chinese market tracker Gaogang Industry Institute. (GGII)
LG Chem accumulated 2.5GWh in supply of NCM811 (nickel, cobalt and manganese in 8 to 1 to 1 ratio) batteries from January to July.
This is thanks to its supply of 21700 batteries to Tesla’s Model 3.
NCM811 batteries were supplied mostly for electric buses in the past but is seeing a surge in application for automobiles this year.
Model 3’s expanded production and sales in China in the second half of the year will expand LG Chem’s supply of circular NCM811 batteries.
CATL is also expanding customers for its prismatic NCM811 batteries, GGII noted.
The Chinese battery giant accumulated 2.6GWh in supply from January to August for NCM811 batteries.
LG Chem, meanwhile, following requests from Tesla, is preparing to expand its battery production. In 2018, its Nanjing factory already doubled its capacity.
The South Korean tech giant in January 2019 said it plans to invest an additional 1,2 trillion won to the factory to expand capacity even more.
Posco Chemical supplies the cathode for LG Chem’s NCM811 batteries. LG Chem supplies NCMA (aluminum is added) cathode based batteries to General Motors.
LG Chem’s plans seem to be to use NCM811 for circular batteries and NCMA for pouch batteries. It is reducing cobalt use and adding more nickel.
Using NCM523 instead of NCM811 can decrease the size of cathode, plate and separator by 17% per 1kWh. This leads to 10% cost reduction. NCMA, which uses more nickel than NCM523, allows for even more cost reduction.