EcoPro is planning to diversify its battery cathode lineup, including those that use very little cobalt and have high portions of nickel in them.
EcoPro chairman Lee Dong-chae said on Thursday at a press conference that the company plans to develop a cobalt-free cathode, also known as NMX, and a low-cobalt cathode, also called OLO.
These can compete with China’s lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode batteries in terms of price, Lee said.
The chairman also claimed LFP won’t be the main cathode used in the battery market.
The company has previously said it plans to launch a high-manganese cathode as well.
It is likely announcing the new cathodes as automobile companies such as Tesla and Mercedes-Benz have said they want to procure more LFP batteries.
EcoPro had focused on high-nickel cathodes so far. The new cathodes will likely be mid-tier offerings. Using more manganese that is cheaper than nickel or cobalt can reduce battery prices.
Lee also said it may announce its European expansion plan within the year. Its expansion plan for the US will be announced next year, the chairman said.
Meanwhile, the company also said at the conference that it plans to post 14 trillion won in annual sales from its battery business in 2026. Its current cathode production capacity per year is 77,000 metric tonnes but it plans to expand this to 480,000 metric tonnes.