Over the last few years, Tesla has been diversifying its battery supply chain, working with new suppliers and trying out new chemistries in its cells. Gigafactory Shanghai, which is geographically close to the Asian firms that currently supply most of the world’s Li-ion cells, has been the center of the automaker’s brave new battery biz.
As it develops new sources of cells, Tesla has also been looking for new chemistries that use less controversial cobalt and a higher concentration of nickel. Now the company is expected to become the first automaker to use LG Energy Solution’s new NCMA battery cells, in Model Ys produced at Gigafactory Shanghai.
Electrek reported last December that Tesla had reached an agreement with LG to use its NCMA-based cells. The Korean battery-maker’s NCMA (nickel, cobalt, manganese, aluminum) chemistry features a 90% nickel cathode. According to the company, the new cell not only uses less cobalt than earlier designs, it also offers superior energy density.
“LG Chem will supply NCMA cathode materials for electric vehicle batteries to Tesla in July,” Business Korea reports. “This marks the company’s first commercial production of NCMA cathode materials.”