So-called LFP batteries were previously thought to offer longer life and lower cost, but more expensive nickel and cobalt-based traction batteries still lead in charge storage density and therefore offer greater range. A new type of battery has been developed in China that combines relative inexpensiveness with the ability to provide a range of up to 1000 km without recharging.
It is the specialization in lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries that allows Chinese manufacturers to take a leading position in the market while contributing to the rapid development of the domestic electric vehicle market. It is not surprising that Gotion High-Tech decided to improve traction batteries based on the LFP composition, adding manganese to it. The company’s CEO, Cheng Qian, in a telephone interview Bloomberg called the announcement of such batteries “Leap in Energy Storage Density”.
According to company representatives, LFP batteries in their classic design offer an energy storage density of no more than 190 Wh/kg, but Gotion High-Tech was able to increase this ceiling to 240 Wh/kg by adding manganese to their composition. This allows both the manufacture of lighter traction batteries while maintaining the power reserve, and the increase in the last parameters with the same overall dimensions and weight.
Gotion High-Tech is one of the top ten traction battery suppliers in the world, ranking eighth according to SNE Research. According to the manufacturer, LMFP batteries are 5% cheaper than LFP batteries of comparable capacity. Compared to nickel-cobalt batteries, the benefit is 20 or 25%. In addition, LMFP batteries are safer than their more expensive NMC counterparts in terms of fire hazard. Rho Motion analysts estimate that LMFP batteries could account for up to 6% of the market by 2040, outpacing other emerging alternatives such as sodium-ion batteries.
Gotion High-Tech will start producing Astronino LMFP batteries at two factories in China in the second quarter of next year. Other advantages of LMFP batteries of this brand include the ability to quickly recharge the charge. At a rapid charging station with gradual power control, it will be possible to restore the traction battery charge from 10% to 80% in about 18 minutes. The batteries of the Astronino family have already successfully passed safety tests.