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Fig 1 Li-ion
Fig 2 Li-ion

Li-ion Battery

I reign!

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In a conventional Li-ion battery, the anode is typically made of graphite, and the cathode is Lithium oxide.  The key to high capacity & superior power delivery lies primarily in the cathode, which has characterized the Li-ion batteries.

  

LFP & Ternary batteries

  

High commodity costs are spurring automakers to adjust their battery strategies and switch to cheaper battery compositions.  One such avenue is to substitute cobalt w/ nickel, as shown in Figure 1.  Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries accounted for 19 GWh or 68.5% of the total installed base in Mar/2023 in China (8.7 GWh or 31.4% of ternary batteries), up 44.4% YoY (up 25.3% YoY of ternary ones) [CN, 2023].

  

Both LiFePO4 (LFP) battery & ternary lithium batteries have their advantages: if you need a battery with high safety, the best choice is LFP.  If you want to use a higher density battery at lower temperatures (limited to -30℃), you can go for ternary Li-batteries [PL, 2023].

Li2CO3 & LiOH

  

Lithium, specifically in Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) & Lithium hydroxide (LiOH) compounds, is a crucial ingredient in EV batteries and other applications.  Figure 2 shows the Lithium sources, compounds, and primary applications (battery use is highlighted).

  

The U.S. and European efforts to build domestic supply chains won’t eliminate dependence on China, at least in the short- & medium-term.  Figure 3 shows China battery manufacturing capacity.  Figure 4 shows that the "battery factor", i.e., higher battery costs, could delay the tipping point for EVs.

Figure 1:  Battery compositions

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Figure 2: Li-compounds applications

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Figure 3:  China manufacturing capacity

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Figure 4:  Tipping point for EVs

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Fig 3 Li-ion
Fig 4 Li-ion
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