LG Chem is planning to begin production of batteries with nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum (NCMA) anode materials beginning in 2021, people familiar with the matter told TheElec on Tuesday.
This is a year earlier than its initial goal of beginning production in 2022, they said. The batteries will be supplied to key client General Motors (GM), they added.
LG Chem will make some of the NCMA anode materials on its own while also using Posco Chemical as a supplier, they said.
As Ultium Cells, the materials making joint venture of LG Chem and GM, makes batteries using NCMA, the battery supply deal between the two companies will likely be in the billions of dollars, they also said.
Around five models will use the batteries, including GM’s first electric pick-up truck, the people said.
Ultium Cells is being built at Lordstown, Ohio and is expected to begin operations in 2022.
LG Chem’s Michigan plant will likely supply the NCMA batteries as part of the deal, before Ultium goes live.
The South Korean battery maker has recently rearranged its battery operations to use NCM712 (nickel, cobalt and manganese in 7 to 1 to 2 ratio) and NCMA anode materials for its batteries. LG will likely use more and more high-nickel anode materials for its batteries.
For its NCMA anode materials, LG has used less cobalt while nickel accounts for 80% of the materials. Aluminum is added to increase energy density and make the material more stable. The application of NCMA will reduce cost and increase travel distance per charge for electric vehicles.