LG Chem has recently completed development of its module pack integrated platform (MPI) that will reduce the modules in batteries, TheElec has learned.
Batteries will be made in a similar structure to Tesla’s unibody battery pack, or in a module-less structure. It is also similar to what CATL calls cell to pack, which was applied to the Model 3.
LG Chem’s new platform can pack double the number of cells to conventional module platforms.
This will allow finished batteries to made 30% cheaper and have 10% higher energy density.
Currently, LG Chem supplies cells, modules and packs to customers following their requests. For electric cars, it supplies mostly in module form as different car models usually use differently shaped batteries. This is especially true four pouch-type batteries. The car makers, like Volkswagen and Audi, themselves usually assemble the modules into packs themselves.
For prismatic batteries, car makers such as BMW just gets the cells and secure the module and pack themselves.
LG Chem is also developing its follow-up platform to MPI. However, the next platform will take sometime to develop as its stability isn’t yet guaranteed. Due to the lack of modules, the pack must be made stronger with different materials and it will need to use wireless battery management system that is harder to apply.
LG Chem’s pouch batteries have high cell integration, which increases the need to protect against heat. The company may consider adding MICA or CNT to control heat, a person familiar with the matter said.
Though for batter makers, selling cells with modules and packs are more profitable, more and more car makers what just the cells and use their own module and pack suppliers.
In the future, electric cars are looking to eliminate modules and put in batteries into chassis directly __ a method called module to body, cell to body or cell to vehicle, depending on the company.