Roskill view: South Korea’s SK Innovation has started production of Nickel-Manganese Cobalt batteries with an 80% nickel content, according to press reports. Previous NMC-type batteries had typically contained 60% nickel in the cathode material, with cobalt and manganese accounting for 20% of the cathode material each.
The increase in nickel content will allow for greater driving range on a single charge, with SK Innovation quoted as claiming their new battery chemistry will allow for a range of 500km. SK Innovation was also said to be developing new batteries that would allow a driving range of 700km by 2020.
The increase in nickel content also lowers the cost, since it contains less cobalt that previous battery chemistries. On 1st September, cobalt cash bid prices on the LME were quoted at US$60,500/t, while nickel cash bid prices stood atUS$12,000/t.