LG Chem started the production of its NCM712 battery cells in the first quarter of 2020 in their plant in Wroclaw, Poland. The battery cells carry the internal name LGX E78, sometimes only referred to as LG Chem E78. The battery cell factory in Poland is the one with the highest capacity output in Europe and underpins the big ambitions of the South Korean giant.
E78 battery cell specifications
The new battery cell from LG Chem comes with improved performance. We were able to cross check the specifications for the LGX E78 from several different sources
As the chemistry suggests, it has a reduced cobalt ratio compared to the NCM622 cell. The ratio of Nichek-Cobalt-Managenese is about 70:10:20 percent. This will lead to reduced prices per kilowatt-hour.
Besides the NCM712 cathode material, LG Chem is focusing on the rollout of NCM811 battery cells (for cylindrical cells). However, the recent safety incidents with NCM811-based chemistry batteries from CATL has raised awareness from the industry.
It remains unknown, whether LG Chem is still considering to ramp up their plans with NCM811 or focuses on the proven NCM712 cell. Additionally, the company wants to accelerate the launch of NCMA chemistry-based batteries and introduce them in 2021, one year earlier than initially planned.
Application of LG Chems LGX E78 (NCM712) in current EVs
We expect the battery cell to play a bigger role in the European and American markets. The LGX E78 battery is used in Volkswagen’s ID.3 built on the MEB platform. The first vehicles with this battery were already delivered to their customers a few weeks ago.
With the NCM811 chemistry causing troubles with CATL in China, we can possibly also expect the ID.4, Skoda Enyaq iV, and Audi Q4 to be powered by the same LG Chem battery cell. Of course, the MEB platform is not limited to LG Chems pouch cells with the NCM 712 chemistry, we will see a more diversified supplier landscape for Volkswagen with SK Innovation in the US and CATL in China and possibly Europe. Furthermore, the platform is designed to carry both pouch and prismatic cells.
The new LGX E78 battery (NCM712) is now used by Volkswagen ID.3 and the new generation Renault ZOE. And Renault Zoe is Europe’s first electric car to obtain NCM712 from LG Chem.
Summary of cars using NCM712 / E78 by LG Chem
- VW ID.3
- Renault Zoe (2020)
- VW ID.4 (expected)
- Skoda Enyac (expected)
- Audi Q4 (expected)
The electric cars industry will change with new battery chemistries. LG Chem is at the forefront and works hard to push the prices while increasing the performance, with directly having an impact on the affordability and range of the cars.
The production ramp-up of their new E78 battery cell based on NCM712 chemistry is one step in this direction. Soon we can expect cathodes on NCM811 and NCM9xx chemistries. From 2021 to 2022 we will see LG Chem showing their work on the NCMA chemistry. As LG Chem suppliers many of the automotive industries leading OEMs including Volkswagen Group, GM, Daimler, and more, the batteries will be hopefully adopted faster than in recent years. We will update this article with new information continuously. Make sure to bookmark and share.