The first full-size lithium-ion battery cells featuring Johnson Matthey’s advanced eLNO cathode technology (earlier post) are being installed in a high performance race car. eLNO is a family of nickel-rich cathode materials that safely enables batteries to perform better and charge more quickly while retaining exceptional battery lifetime.
Johnson Matthey partnered with the Envision Virgin Racing team to develop the race car. It will demonstrate the performance capabilities of eLNO-equipped battery cells. Believed to be the world’s first two-seater electric racer, the car will be revealed at the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland on 31 October.
A customizable family of nickel-rich cathode materials, eLNO will meet specific battery performance requirements for individual electric vehicle platforms. eLNO enables batteries with around 20% greater energy density compared to today’s typical NMC cathode material technology. It is suited for use in cells powering a range of electric vehicles, particularly those with fast-charging, high-performance and long-range requirements, such as larger premium passenger cars and premium SUVs.
Johnson Matthey scientists have enhanced the chemistry of the cathode material using a proprietary stabilizer package and surface modification, engineering the cathode material down to the atomic level. This enables the use of high nickel contents for increased driving range, as well as a reduction in the level of cobalt present, to sustain cycle life and stability.
Already in pilot production and being trialed by customers, eLNO will be supplied to customers in Europe from two new production facilities. The first facility in Poland is under construction and will be completed in 2022, for commercial production in 2024. A second eLNO plant is also planned in Finland.
These facilities will operate sustainably as part of Johnson Matthey’s commitment to overcoming climate change, circular manufacturing, and the responsible sourcing of materials.
The battery cells were developed and produced by EAS Batteries. The German specialist battery manufacturer is the first in Europe to produce large battery cells for an automotive application that feature nickel-rich eLNO cathode chemistry. The cylindrical 602030-format cells were manufactured using an almost dry coating process—which has a far lower carbon footprint than typical wet coating— with a non-toxic solvent, and less solvent waste than typical cell production processes.
The race car will showcase production-representative eLNO technology in a challenging application, showing that Johnson Matthey’s advanced cathode material technology is ready to be integrated into batteries powering the forthcoming generation of EVs. The race car was designed and engineered in partnership with the Envision Virgin Racing team and is being produced and assembled by Delta Cosworth.
The race car will make its full debut at COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which takes place in Glasgow, Scotland from 31 October – 12 November.