Everyone is looking for new ways to get a piece of the global electric vehicle value chain. It’s no longer just car companies or battery firms, it’s the entire range of parts that make up batteries — from the chemicals that form each component to the wiring and everything in between. With all the noise around battery technology, though, it’s hard to wade through the futuristic bets to find the realistic ones. There is one country that could prove to be a happy hunting ground: South Korea.
While companies there took an early lead in cutting-edge EV battery technology, they were quickly overtaken, mainly by Chinese competitors that outdid them on scale and size. The likes of LG Chem Ltd.’s LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI Co. have all shown promise but their global market share has waned. They may be set for a comeback.
Scientists have spent decades working to improve lithium-ion car batteries while lowering their cost. In South Korea, they’re now focused on all the materials that can be used in various parts of a power pack by playing with existing chemicals and battery architecture.
Even with 90% nickel batteries — the latest attempt to use high-nickel content to expand staying power — recently showing a way to commercialization (by South Korea’s SK Innovation Co.), further progress is looking limited and the goal of mass electrification remains distant. That’s because such batteries, accounting for around 50% of the cost of an electric car, remain too costly due to...
Read Full Story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/energy/looking-for-the-next-winners-in-the-ev-supply-chain/2021/10/18/eff1d6f8-3067-11ec-8036-7db255bff176_story.html
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