What does the future hold for Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) Battery Technology?
Updated: Mar 15, 2021
EV market Shares with the more Affordable LFP, LMFP, or LMP Batteries continues to Grow.
The LFP Blade battery powered Hans, buses, trucks, and other auto EVs are commercial successes value & performance and gaining momentum with plans to export into key markets. Tesla offers a lower cost LMFP battery powered model 3 with the battery cells supplied by CATL in China and is already exporting into Europe. Xpeng offers lower cost LFP or LMFP battery powered models in China and will export into Europe. The very success and very affordable SAIC – GM Mini sold in China is powered by Lithium Metal Polymer (LMP) batteries.
The drop-in LFP batteries for replacing lead-acid batteries in RV, golf carts, boats, solar systems plus storage, fork lifts, etc. dominates this business sector. The emerging electric Purpose-Built-Vehicle (PBV) market that includes construction equipment, farm equipment, ranch equipment, ATV, UTV, shuttle vehicles, urban & regional cargo vans & trucks, etc. is well suited for LFP & LMFP.
The LFP batteries are growing markets share in the global EES business sector as shown by the Powin Corporation utility scale ESS which uses CATL battery cells. Several companies in China or expanding or building new LFP battery cell factories which will increase global market share from 20% in 2020 to 25% in 2021. The more affordable LFP batteries that require no strategic metals are well suited for the electrification of developing countries.
Paul Kageler: My broad background includes experience in the global chemical industry, industrial construction, global oil & gas assignments, and electrification & solar energy advisor. Job roles while at BASF Chemicals include research & development, project management, plant startup, plant manager, product stewardship manager, and product manage. Job titles at Halliburton include fluid engineer, Sr. Technical Professional, and Global Field Advisor. Also experience in technical sales. I have followed the solar industry since 2010 and developed an interest in Li-ion battery applications. Recent work and studies include residential and remote area solar plus ESS and converting electric off-road vehicles to LFP batteries. My interest during leisure time includes fishing, exercising, and following developments related to Li-ion battery applications. Education: BS Degree in Chemistry from Texas State University
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Renault has announced a LFP powered model by 2024.
New Low-Cost Lithium Metal Polymer (LMP) Battery being used in the very Low Cost SAIC – GM EV in China
The SAIC – GM Mini is a very cheap EV made and sold in China that uses a LMP battery with an estimated 100W/kg energy density. Better than the ~45W/kg energy density for lead-acid and the LMP has better life and lower maintenance.
Li-ion battery global competition – China 1st, Europe 2nd, and USA 3rd
LG Energy Solutions and SK Innovation Settlement
Ford CEO is encouraging LG Energy Solutions and SK Innovation reach a settlement as the best option for workers and auto companies. LG Energy Solutions may or may not accept a reasonable cash settlement. Editor mentions other options as sale factory or President Biden reversing the ITC decision.
Tax credits for electric vehicles in the United States
Bill introduced in Congress; “Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act”, to reform the federal EV tax incentives, among other tax programs to help. Optimist that bill will pass since Democrats control house, senate, and Whitehouse. In short, automakers that have met the 200,000 EVs threshold already would have access to a new $7,000 tax credit for 400,000 additional electric vehicles until a new phase-out period starts again. Big plus for Tesla and GM. For other car companies that have not reached 200,000 EVs the new phase down of the $7,000 tax credit starts at 600,000 EVs. As the bill stands, the tax credit is not retroactive so some Tesla & GM buyers may postpone an EV purchase until bill passes.
Electric motorcycles with maximum speeds above 45 MPH will get up $2500 tax credit through the end of 2021
Tesla Semi-truck production start in 2021 for 300-mile range model with 500 kWh battery using Tesla made 4680 battery cells
Estimate battery size for 500-mile range is ~850 kWh. Cost estimate made earlier are $150,000 for 300-mile range model and $180,000 for 500-mile range model
Professor Jeff Dahn to start work for the advanced anode company Novonix and gives a 4.5-minute video on the transition of the world-famous Tesla Industrial Chair at Dalhouse University
BYD Hans is a premium EV with a mid-level price based on 77 kWh LFP “Blade Battery” – Number 4 seller November 2020 in China and will eventually export to several other markets