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This new breakthrough in battery lifespan technology will help EVs drive way longer without needing a replacement

By 2027, the company expects to expand its production of single-crystal high-nickel cathodes to more than 50,000 tons annually.

LG reaches breakthrough with new battery technology

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Battery components with the potential to increase electric-vehicle battery lifespans by more than 30% and capacity by 10% recently went into mass production for the first time in South Korea.

LG Chem, the producer of these single-crystal high-nickel cathodes, announced in late June that manufacturing is underway at its plant 75 miles southwest of Seoul. 

The company noted in a release that the components "are expected to play a pivotal role in settling the key challenges of next-generation batteries in terms of lifespan and capacity." LG Chem said it expected to start delivering the first batches to global clients in July.

"We believe single-crystal high-nickel cathodes are a game-changing innovation in the future battery material market and also the key to solving our customers' pain points," Shin Hak-cheol, CEO of LG Chem, said in the release.

Cathodes, which are centers of charging and discharge within a battery, typically contain expensive materials and are crucial parts for EVs. They are also a focal point for battery innovations and improvements because they're so important to the energy density of an EV battery — basically how much per-pound power that a battery gets. 

Producing cathodes accounts for much of the planet-warming gas from EV battery production, so improving upon that process can also generally improve an electric vehicle's carbon footprint — which is still smaller than a gas vehicle's over product lifetimes.

InsideEVs noted that "single-crystal cathodes (made from single particles of several metals such as nickel, cobalt, and manganese) are essential for next-gen batteries."

For these reasons, it's not surprising that LG Chem expects high demand for its new cathodes that are billed as longer lasting and higher capacity than current solutions.

Initially, LG Chem will mix its single-crystal cathode materials with conventional cathode materials. It will gradually shift to 100% single-crystal ones, per the release

By 2027, the company expects to expand its production of single-crystal high-nickel cathodes to more than 50,000 tons annually. Meanwhile, with cathode production already underway, buyers of new EVs can reasonably expect they will at least factor into car batteries soon — including possibly, as the LG Chem release noted, in Tesla's 4680 battery cell program.

"LG Chem will lead the market with advanced battery material technology and diversified product portfolio," Shin said, "to become the largest integrated battery materials provider in the world."

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