SEOUL, March 7 (Korea Bizwire) – The Korean battery industry is making strides in developing lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, with SK On Co. set to unveil a prototype at the Interbattery exhibition later this month and LG Energy Solution Ltd. (LGES) is also expanding its LFP battery product portfolio.
SK On will be the first Korean company to showcase a pouch-type LFP battery prototype at the exhibition, which is the country’s largest battery event.
The company has been researching and developing LFP batteries in response to growing demand from automakers since 2021.
Although the timing for commercialization has not been confirmed, SK On is expected to speed up mass production after the current trial phase.
LGES, on the other hand, currently produces LFP batteries only for energy storage systems (ESS).
However, the company plans to convert its Nanjing battery plant in China to produce LFP batteries for ESS this year and will build an LFP production line at its factory in the U.S. state of Michigan next year.
The Korean battery industry’s focus on LFP batteries is driven by their lower price compared to ternary batteries, which are South Korea’s flagship batteries.
Unlike LFP batteries, which can be made from lithium and iron phosphate, ternary batteries require nickel, cobalt, and manganese, making them more expensive.
Although ternary batteries have higher energy density and longer range compared to LFP batteries, automakers are increasingly drawn to LFP batteries due to their lower cost.
Tesla Inc. already uses LFP batteries in its electric vehicles produced in China.
Jim Farley, president and CEO of Ford Motor Co., has expressed concerns about the cost of batteries, which account for more than 30 percent of EV manufacturing costs, with the American carmaker recently announcing plans to collaborate with Chinese battery maker CATL.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)