LG Chem said on Monday that it has started production of a high-nickel, single-crystal cathode that it says will increase the performance of electric vehicle batteries.
Production has started at its facility in Cheongju and the first batch will be delivered to a customer starting next month.
LG Chem said it also plans to build a production line for the new cathode at its facility in Gumi by 2027.
The chemical giant, the parent company of battery cell maker LG Energy Solution, said it is aiming to expand its annual production capacity for the cathode to 50,000 metric tonnes.
Cathode accounts for nearly half of the cost of making a battery. More cell makers are using high-nickel cathode but doing so reduces the durability of the material.
Making the metals used such as nickel, cobalt, and manganese into a single crystal makes them much more durable. Because they are packed together, the battery could also have more capacity.
LG Chem said using its single crystal cathode has increased the energy capacity of the battery that uses them to over 10%.
The initial batches of the cathode will mix both single-crystal cathode and prior cathodes together but eventually only use the single-crystal cathode.