LG Energy and SK On present prototype LFP batteries at InterBattery 20235. July 2023
LG Energy Solution Ltd. and SK On Co. presented prototypes of their lithium iron phosphate batteries, or LFP for short, in mid-March. The premiere took place during South Korea’s largest battery trade fair, InterBattery 2023. As the business portal KED Global writes, the companies are thus preparing to make inroads into the low-price battery market, which is currently dominated by Chinese competitors. LFP batteries are used in low-cost and small e-vehicles as well as energy storage devices. LG develops LFP cells mainly for energy storage, while SK’s are used in EVs. For battery related products, KC certification, KCs certification or other Korean product certification is often required to be approved for the Korean market.
Currently, LFP batteries are mainly produced by Chinese companies such as Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL) and BYD. These are between 20 and 30 per cent cheaper than nickel-cobalt cells, which consist of lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese. The disadvantage of LFP batteries is their lower energy density and the resulting shorter range in EVs. LG is reportedly close to mass-producing LFP batteries at its plants in Nanjing, China, and Ochang, South Korea. Industry insiders expect a market launch in 2025. A subsidiary of the LG Group is also considering manufacturing LFP cells in the USA. There, tax incentives for EVs built predominantly with components from North America or its trading partners will apply since August 2022.
With a new prismatic cell, SK presented another new battery type. Test runs for production are to begin this year, the company said. SK is also working on two other cell technologies: cobalt-free and solid-state. Solid state batteries are considered the next ultimate generation of batteries due to their safety and higher energy density compared to lithium-ion batteries. Samsung SDI is also increasing its efforts to bring solid-state batteries to market ahead of the competition.
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