According to foreign media reports, Daimler director Ola Kaellenius, who is in charge of R&D, said on Tuesday that the automotive industry is moving in the direction of manufacturing high-nickel electric vehicle batteries.
The high price of high-cobalt batteries has been driving manufacturers to adjust their electric vehicle battery formulations to reduce the amount of cobalt used and increase the amount of nickel used.
8 to 12 kg of cobalt is used for each electric vehicle battery. More than half of the cobalt supply comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo every year.
Kellerius said automakers are also trying to improve the operating range of electric vehicles by testing the ratio of nickel, cobalt and manganese in their batteries.
Kellerius said: "The most important trend is to develop towards NMC formula." NMC refers to nickel manganese, cobalt and three metals. He said: "The formula we first saw was 1:1:1, and later it developed to 6:2:2. Now some suppliers have even adjusted the formula to 9:0.5:0.5."
The automotive industry currently has a range of different battery formulations, the biggest difference being the battery cathode material.
One of the formulations is NCA or lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide. The battery of this formula is produced by Panasonic. The electric car of Tesla uses the battery of this formula; the competing formula is NMC or lithium nickel. Manganese cobalt oxide.
Chinese manufacturers use a compound called LFP, which has a lower energy density but no cobalt.