The Chinese battery manufacturer Guoxuan High-Tech, of which the Volkswagen Group is the main shareholder, has presented new LFP (lithium-ferrophosphate) cells with an energy density well above that exhibited so far by this type of chemistry: 212 Wh/kg, a world record that is equal to some NCM batteries.
LFP chemistry has several strengths: it is affordable (currently priced below $100/kWh, which is considered by many to be the point at which parity is reached between thermal and electric models) thanks to the fact that it dispenses with elements such as cobalt, has a high level of security and its useful life is higher than that of most its alternatives.
In contrast, the energy density of LFP cells is usually significantly lower than that of NCM and NCA batteries. However, the new LFP cells from Guoxuan High-Tech are apparently on par with the NCM 523 (format that can be found in the Peugeot e-208, Opel Corsa-e, and other models of the PSA group), approaching the NCM 622.
These cells are bag type, weigh 830 grams, and have a capacity of 176 Wh (55 Ah and 3.2 V). Its mass production will begin between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022; Also, Guoxuan High-Tech promises that it will improve energy density to 230 Wh/kg this year, reaching 260 Wh/kg 2022.
Guoxuan High-Tech is currently one of the largest battery manufacturers in China, although it falls short of the capacity of giants like CATL or BYD. In 2020, it manufactured 3.3 GWh, compared to 32 GWh for CATL and 9.5 GWh for BYD. However, the company wants to reach 80 GWh in 2023 and 100 GWh in 2025. Currently, Volkswagen controls 26% of the company.