Daimler R&D Head Says Industry Moving Towards Nickel-Rich EV Batteries

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The Daimler board member currently in charge of research and development oversight, Ola Kaellenius, was recently quoted as saying that the auto industry as a whole appeared to be moving toward electric vehicle batteries with nickel-rich chemistry.

These comments included the notation that many firms (presumably German ones in particular) had been in recent times experimenting heavily with possible reductions in cobalt reliance, which is something that we’ve reported on a fair bit ourselves here at CleanTechnica in recent times.

“The main trend is toward NMC (nickel, manganese, and cobalt),” stated Kaellenius (as quoted by Reuters). “We saw a mix of 1:1:1 then we went to 6:2:2 and now some suppliers are even talking about 9:05:05.”

Those figures are the ratio of nickel to manganese to cobalt.

Reuters notes: “Chinese manufacturers use a composition called LFP which has a lower energy density but also does without cobalt, while Japanese carmakers use LMO, or lithium manganese oxide, which is used by Nissan and LG Chem.”

As it stands, though, there’s still quite a lot of variety among electric vehicle battery manufacturers as to the chemistry being used, with Panasonic and Tesla notoriously relying on the NCA (lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide) chemistry in its cars.

Other than NMC and NCA, NMC (lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide) remains in widespread use amongst some battery and auto manufacturers (as “widespread” as battery manufacturing yet is, that is).

There are other chemistries as well, some in niche use only, such as Toshiba’s durable lithium-titanate-oxide batteries, which have been used in some variants of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.


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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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