[Photo by POSCO Chemical Co.]
Posco Chemical Co. will soon start commercial production of NCMA (nickel, cobalt, manganese, aluminum) cathode material for next-generation electric vehicle (EV) batteries, said the coal chemicals unit of South Korean steel giant Posco on Monday.
The company recently completed the development and prototype testing of the new cathode material for a customer, it said. NCMA cathode materials, which are manufactured with the addition of aluminum to existing nickel-rich NCA cathode materials, are expected to help ramp up battery capacity and boost EV mileage with enhanced battery stability and output, and low cost.
Posco Chemical said it applied a self-developed aluminum doping process to its NCMA cathode material to increase nickel content to over 80-90 percent for higher battery capacity. It claims that it is the first company in the EV battery industry to be ready for commercial production of NCMA cathode material.
Its shares soared 12.97 percent to close Tuesday at 68,800 won.
The EV battery market has been divided into NCM cathode material with an advantage in terms of capacity and stability, and NCA cathode material with an advantage in output. Global battery makers have paid attention to NCMA cathode material as next-generation material where the best from the two is combined.
NCMA cathode materials are applied to batteries for third-gen EVs that can travel 500 to 600 kilometers on a single charge, which will make them competitive options to internal combustion engines.
A li-ion battery is composed of four main parts: cathode, anode, electrolyte and separator. Cathode materials play the biggest role in enhancing the capacity and output of EV batteries and represent about 40 percent of battery manufacturing costs.
By Noh Hyun and Minu Kim
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