Global battery cell manufacturer SVOLT, headquartered in China, is producing cobalt-free battery cells in its Chinese facilities. With a ceremony held in Jintan a few days ago, SVOLT announced the start of series production of its proprietary novel nickel-manganese (NMX) battery cells. At a preliminary stage, SVOLT has been mass-producing the cobalt-free cathode material since April, while the pilot production with ten tons of cobalt-free cathode material was successfully completed in Jintan back in January 2021.
SVOLT’s cobalt-free battery cells: more sustainable and cheaper
The new technology allows SVOLT to significantly improve the life cycle as well as the calendar life of the NMX cells compared to conventional NCM battery cells. Indeed, this type of batteries can achieve more than 2,500 charging cycles. Cobalt-free NMX cells are not only much more sustainable, but also around five percent cheaper than classic NCM battery cells. This makes them particularly suitable for the broad mid-range market.
SVOLT is initially producing two sizes of its NMX batteries (115 Ah and 226 Ah), which are 75 percent nickel and 25 percent manganese. The heavy metal cobalt, one of the most expensive and controversial cathode elements, was then eliminated. From the end of 2023, the novel batteries can also be produced at the planned plant in Saarland for the European market.
Comments from top management
«SVOLT is the first company that has succeeded in bringing a cobalt-free high nickel cell chemistry to mass industrial production readiness. The team in China has now impressively demonstrated this by starting series production. Our high-performance and low-cost battery cells without cobalt are an important milestone on the road to sustainable electromobility», said Kai-Uwe Wollenhaupt, President SVOLT Europe & Vice President SVOLT Energy Technology.
«Several years ago, we realized that limited cobalt resources may hinder the sustainable development of electric mobility. That is why SVOLT aims to continuously lead the battery industry through its research and development work to tap into new technologies and become a technology leader», added Hongxin Yang, SVOLT President and General Manager.