LG Energy Solution announced that it is going to manufacture LFP (Lithium-Iron-Phosphate) lithium-ion cells. These will be initially used as energy storage systems, then later as EV batteries. These batteries have been gaining popularity as they are cost-effective.
In the LGES’s IPO it was revealed that the company is working on LFP lithium-ion cells. Later this month, LGES director of energy storage systems EMEA, Jor Jurgens revealed further. Talked about the LFP chemistry joining with NMC in energy storage productions at the Smarter E event in Munich, Germany.
Another detail known about the production is that the manufacturing will be at the wholly-owned lithium-ion battery cell plant in Holland, Michigan. In March the plant received approvals to expand for $1.7 billion. Two LFP battery cell types are expected to be produced in the plant. They are to be of the same format and sizes as the currently produced ones. However, instead of prismatic, the LFP pouch cells are to be made. By 2023 and 2024, the two LFP cells that will be entering the market are,
- Standard size cell
- Long size cell
The production of these cells is scheduled to start by October 2023 and Q4 2023 respectively. It is assumed that the long-size cells are for electric vehicles, however, there is no confirmation.
Assuming that the existing plant in Holland has a manufacturing capacity of 5 GWh annually, and the expansion will be “fivefold”, there might be a total of 25 GWh annually in a few years, including some 20 GWh of LFP cells. “The new battery cells will be made in Holland in the US state of Michigan, with double-digit gigawatt-scale production lines being added to the facility, Jurgens said.”
According to Businesskorea, LGES and other South Korean manufacturers are also looking for a different cobalt-free battery – the LNMO, in which cobalt is replaced by a higher proportion of manganese. It should make the cells less expensive, but probably requires a lot of development to not sacrifice energy density or other parameters too much. It is expected that more solutions compete against each other in the entry-level EV and energy storage segments, as they are crucial to making EVs more affordable.
LGES’s investment in Holland is not the only one in Michigan, as the company announced also a new joint venture plant with GM (the third Ultium Cells plant). The $2.5 billion Ultium Cells JV plant will be located in the city of Lansing and Delta Township. The other two Ultium Cells plants are currently under construction in Lordstown, Ohio (soon to be ready) and Spring Hill, Tennessee.