South Korean lithium-ion battery cell maker LG Energy Solution plans to develop a moduleless concept for pouch-type high-nickel batteries to increase EVs’ space utilization, reduce weight and improve cost competitiveness by 2025.
Unlike the existing module-to-pack concept, the new concept, called "cell-to-pack," will simplify the process of assembling pouch cells directly into battery packs, Choi Seung-don, LG Energy Solution's senior vice president and automotive battery development center leader, told the audience at the Korea Advanced Battery Conference 2022.
The lithium-ion battery cells with the cell-to-pack concept is expected to rival those made by Chinese competitors who have come up with price-competitive lithium ferrophosphate battery cells, or prismatic lithium-ion cells with a cell-to-pack structure.
"We will have an upper edge over rivals in terms of weight and cost," Choi said at the conference hosted by SNE Research in Seoul.
The cell-to-pack concept has been introduced among battery makers including China's CATL and Chinese-Japanese Envision AESC, but LG Energy Solution is the first in the industry to announce the technology for high-nickel pouch-type batteries, according to the company.
On a separate note, Choi said the mass production "is scheduled to start this month, or at least next month" at the Ohio plant of Ultium Cells, LG's battery joint venture with US carmaker General Motors.
This comes a month after the joint venture announced it had shipped its first battery products in Ohio, one of at least three plant locations of the joint venture designed to supply batteries to GM’s electric vehicles.
The $2.3 billion Ohio plant, which can power 600,000 EVs with its 40 gigawatt-hour capacity, will be operational at full capacity by 2023.
Ultium Cells, established in 2020, is looking to introduce new plants in Tennessee and Michigan, and is considering adding a new plant within the North America region.