Next Generation Range Boosting EV Battery Cathodes Test Courage In Race Car


Better batteries are the key to more practical and universally adopted electric vehicles, and better cathode chemistry is one of the key elements in creating better batteries. In the race for a better cathode, everyone from national laboratories to Nobel Prize-winning inventors are struggling to find the right mix of materials. Johnson Matthey, a global chemicals and sustainable technology company headquartered in the UK, has a formula that it deems superior and is set to test its eLNO cathode technology in the highly demanded racing lab. electric cars. If things go well, it will move into mass production over the next few years, helping to propel a new generation of more fuel-guzzling cars with longer ranges.

Johnson Matthey describes his eLNO (lithium-nickel-oxide) cathode technology as a layered nickel-rich oxide structure that increases energy density by about 20 percent over current generation cathode formulas, such as NMC 622 (60 percent nickel / 20 percent manganese / 20 percent cobalt). JM relies on a proprietary stabilizer and surface modification to prevent the instability that plagues other nickel rich, low cobalt cathode formulations, ensuring a long life cycle.

German specialty battery maker EAS Batteries recently built what JM says are the first large automotive grade lithium-ion battery cells using nickel-rich eLNO cathode chemistry. The cylindrical cells in the 602030 format are installed in a special racing car developed by JM in collaboration with the Formula E racing team Envision Virgin Racing, the first Formula E team certified carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust. JM and Envision collaborated on the design and engineering of the unique two-seater e-racer, and Delta Cosworth takes care of production and assembly.

With the help of the Envision Virgin team, JM will experience the performance of “production representative” eLNO cathodes in a high demand racing environment. Race car testing will be the next step towards the start of European production planned by Johnson Matthey in 2024, which will follow the completion in 2022 of its first production plant in Poland. The eLNO cathode technology will be customizable for customers and will be particularly well suited to long-range, high-performance and / or fast-charging electric vehicles, including high-end SUVs and cars, according to JM.

“Our eLNO technology will bring about a radical change in the energy density of batteries for electric vehicles going on sale in just a few years,” said Christian Gϋnther, JM’s battery materials business manager. “We are proud to have worked with Envision Virgin Racing to present eLNO in the exciting race car at the world’s largest climate change event. This represents an important step towards high volume production of the technology in Europe over the next few years. “

Johnson Matthey and Envision will host a world premiere of the new racing car on the opening day of the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which runs from October 31 to November 12. We will seek to obtain more details on the car itself. and a battery that performs it once the show has started.

Source: Johnson Matthey

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