CATL developing EV battery with no nickel and cobalt

If you follow auto industry news beyond new car models, you would have heard of everybody’s favourite EV battery-maker, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Limited (CATL). The Shenzhen-listed, Ningde-based company is in bed with Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen, among other carmakers in the EV race. It also supplies Tesla.

Surely the Chinese battery maker is so sought after because it’s at the forefront of EV battery development, in an arena that also has Japan’s Panasonic and South Korea’s LG Chem. Now, CATL says that it’s developing a new type of EV battery that contains zero nickel or cobalt, which at present are key ingredients.

Like rare earth elements, these metals aren’t cheap and indeed Panasonic and LG Chem are lowering the use of expensive cobalt in their nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) batteries or nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) batteries, reports Reuters.

Tesla boss Elon Musk last month urged miners to produce more nickel, warning that the current cost of batteries remained a big hurdle to the company’s growth. CATL makes NCM batteries and supplies lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries to the US-based EV specialist.

Meng Xiangfeng, a senior executive at CATL, told an industry conference held by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers in Shanghai that the new battery type will be different from existing NCA, NCM and LFP batteries, and will have no expensive metals like nickel or cobalt. The exec did not give details of the substitute ingredients, or cost of the planned battery type.

Besides this nickel and cobalt-free battery, CATL is also developing a separate tech to integrate battery cells directly into an EV’s frame to extend driving range. The Mercedes-Benz EQS, the all-new electric flagship limo that will be delivered to customers in 2021, will ship with CATL cell modules. The EQS has a development goal of over 700 km in electric range (WLTP) and a doubling of charging speed compared to current models.

The post CATL developing EV battery with no nickel and cobalt appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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