Panasonic develops cobalt free automotive batteries -Lithium - Ion Battery Equipment
Cobalt will play an important role in ensuring the stability of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and extending their service life. To this end, the competition for cobalt supply resources has become increasingly fierce, with its price soaring from $10/lb in December 2015 to nearly $40/lb today.
According to insiders in the cobalt mining industry, Panasonic has been trying to ensure its stable supply in the cobalt market, and its cobalt consumption will reach 10000 tons/year in the next two years. In the early 1920s, cobalt consumption will increase to 25000 tons/year. The insiders predict that the cobalt consumption of Panasonic will reach nearly 8000 tons in 2018.
An insider in the cobalt mining industry said: "The valuation made by Panasonic is usually cautious and conservative. The value given by the company should be less than 25000 tons/year, which shocked us."
Tesla aims to achieve a weekly production of 5000 Model 3 vehicles by the end of June. Tesla batteries use lithium, nickel, cobalt and aluminum (NCA) materials, while other car enterprises use lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese (NCM) composites.
Roskill estimates that by 2027, the demand for cobalt will reach 310000 tons, of which more than 240000 tons will be used for car batteries, laptop batteries and mobile phone batteries. Roskill estimates that the demand for cobalt in 2017 has reached 118000 tons.
Due to the fear of cobalt shortage in the industry, many battery manufacturers have changed the material formula of battery cathode, changing the ratio of nickel/cobalt/manganese from 6:2:2 to 8:1:1.
However, the insiders said: "Despite the above changes, many battery manufacturers have not realized the application of this ratio in mass production. As for cobalt free batteries, the time to market may be even longer."
According to BenchmarkMinerals, the 8:1:1 formula is only trial produced and tested in small factories, especially in China. At present, it is far from the commercial application of the new ratio battery, and it needs to wait for several years.