Samsung SDI will be applying NCA cathode to its EV battery plant in Göd,, Hungary, in a bid to raise energy density and driving distance per charge, according to industry sources on Feb. 11.
With the new cathode material that has a nickel content of more than 80%, Samsung SDI will producing the so-called Gen5 batteries, a product it calls its next-generation battery. Mass production is slated for 2021. This marks the first time for Samsung SDI to apply NCA to square-type batteries.
Samsung SDI said that the Gen5-applied EV would boast a driving distance of 600km and more per charge. This means the Gen5 battery has an energy density of at least 600Wh/L.
Some market watchers expect SDI to go hybrid by applying not only NCA, but NCM as well because high-nickel cathode usually have shorter life spans. This means other material, such as NCM needs to be added in order to make the batteries more durable.
“Samsung SDI is likely to use a mixture of NCM622 and NCA81½½ in order to create a product that is both high in durability and efficacy,” said one industry expert.
The NCA cathode is to be supplied by EcoProBM, which recently said in a regulatory filing that it would be establishing a joint venture with Samsung SDI. It will be building an exclusive CAM6 cathode plant in Pohang. Until 2022 when the plant goes into operation, the CAM5 will produce the cathode.
With the new material, Samsung SDI will be opting for the stacking method to manufacture the batteries, instead of the original winding method. Overall, the Samsung affiliate plans to raise energy density and cut costs, both by more than 20%.
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