The Chinese manufacturer CATL A few months ago, it presented a new battery that promises to revolutionize the market due to its good density/price ratio. We talk about the M3P batteries that are positioned as an intermediate point between the affordable LFP (lithium-ferrophosphate) and the advanced NCM (nickel, cobalt, manganese) and that already have a date to start their production.
This has been indicated by the president of CATL, Zeng Yuqun, who in a meeting with investors has indicated that the alternative of M3P batteries, based on LMFP (lithium-ferrophosphate and manganese) chemistry, had been developed after verifying the difficulties to find a technologically feasible and competitive product based on solid electrolyte batteries.
Given that this alternative will be in the medium and long term, CATL launched into the search for an option capable of offering good development in aspects such as energy and volumetric density, while taking advantage of factors such as lower cost and long shelf life of lithium iron phosphate.
The result has been some LMFP cellswhich add manganese to the formula, which makes it possible to improve some of its specifications, achieving, for example, an energy density of 230Wh/kgsurpassing the 150 Wh/kg of the LFP and approaching the 265 Wh/kg of the most advanced NCM cells.
In addition, these batteries stand out for other aspects such as dispensing with expensive and controversial components such as the cobalt or nickelopting for manganese which is a relatively cheap and abundant material, so the cost of the final product should be quite competitive.
The main problem with this chemistry was its limited life cycle, something that CATL claims to have solved by adding doping materials to the LMFP ternary cells.
Now, the president of CATL has indicated that with a little more delay compared to the initial plans, they are already finalizing the production lines where these batteries will come from, whose manufacture will begin at the end of this year, and which will allow launch cars with autonomy of 700 kilometers with each chargebut with more competitive prices than, for example, those that will assemble their own Qilin batteries, which will allow the figure to reach 1,000 km, but surely at a higher cost and aimed at higher segments.
It remains to be known, in addition to the final data of the batteries, also who will be the first to receive them. In the list of CATL clients there are brands such as Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW, Ford… and a long etc. Customers who should begin receiving the first orders for these new cells before the end of this year, paving the way for an escalation of their production in 2024.