South Korean cathode material maker L&F have signed a 1.45 trillion won deal with LG Energy Solution to supply cathode.
L&F will be supplying high-nickel NCMA(nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum) cathode for the South Korean battery maker.
The pair didn’t disclose which automobile company would get the batteries that uses the cathode.
But people familiar with the matter told TheElec that LG Energy Solution will likely use the cathode to make 21700 batteries for Tesla.
In October, LG had supplied 21700 batteries made at its Nanjing plant to Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory. LG used NCM811 supplied by Posco Chemical for the batteries.
Tesla is likely changing the cathode from NCM811 to NCMA to save cost and increase battery performance, the people said. The US car maker had requested to LG that it supplies 21700 batteries with higher capacity. LG responded by choosing NCMA over NCM811 to increase energy density of the batteries, they added.
The 21700 battery that used Posco Chemical’s NCM811 had a capacity of 4,700mAh. The 21700 battery that uses L&F’s NCMA will have a capacity of 5,000mAh, the people said. Travel distance per charge likely increased from the increased capacity.
L&F will now likely use the momentum to catch up to South Korea’s largest cathode maker EcoPro BM. L&F is planning to build a new factory at Daegu to meeting rising demand and will invest 250 billion won into the project up to 2023. This will increase its cathode production rate by 80,000 metric tonnes a year, the company said.