SK On, the battery business unit of SK Innovation, is considering developing lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, its CEO told Reuters.
The South Korean battery maker is considering developing LFP batteries for specific applications such as low-priced vehicles, SK On CEO Jee Dong-seob said.
"There is an interest in LFP technology from automakers," Jee told Reuters.
The technology has an advantage in cost and thermal stability despite a lower driving range, he said.
Previously, there was a perception that LFP was only made by Chinese companies and was a low-end product.
This is because compared to nickel cobalt manganese (or aluminum) batteries, it had lower energy density and weighed heavier, which limits the drive times of electric vehicles.
But since Tesla, the world’s largest electric vehicle maker, began using LFP batteries for its low-end car models, the perception has gradually changed.
Apple and Rivian are also reportedly considering using LFP batteries for their respective electric vehicles.
The recent fires involving electric vehicles have also increased interest in LFP.
LG Energy Solution is also currently developing LFP batteries.
Meanwhile, in his interview with Reuters, SK Innovation CEO Kim Jun said he expects the current battery shortage in the electric vehicle industry to continue up to 2025.
"The current U.S. battery capacity is far short of meeting demand. Building a factory to meet demand requires a lead time of 30 months, and I see a battery shortage continuing at least until 2025," Kim said.
SK On was also considering additional joint ventures __ the company has one with US car giant Ford __ but won’t rush the process, he added.