Umicore is starting the industrialization of its manganese-rich HLM (high lithium, manganese) cathode active materials (CAM) technology and is targeting commercial production and use in electric vehicles (EVs) in 2026.
This major milestone introduces a distinctly competitive technology to other design-to-cost battery technologies for EVs and complements Umicore’s broad portfolio of NMC (nickel, manganese, cobalt) battery materials for high performance, long-range EVs.
Umicore says that HLM is gaining traction with car and battery cell manufacturers as a differentiating lower cost, high energy-density and sustainable battery technology. HLM offers a better total cost of ownership than LFP (lithium iron phosphate) with longer driving ranges, equivalent safety, much more reliable SOC (state of charge) monitoring and better recyclability.
Further, Umicore notes, the manganese-rich materials can be produced with Umicore’s acid bases for high- and for mid-nickel materials. That means that with Umicore’s footprint development globally, the company will be able to produce HLM in every region of the world.
Future HLM production is foreseen at Umicore’s battery materials plants in Korea and Poland, which today produce NMC-based cathode active materials, as well as at the planned facility in Canada.
Umicore recycles these battery materials on an industrial scale, at industry-leading recovery rates and in an eco-efficient way.
Umicore reaffirms its frontrunner position in battery technology as our manganese-rich HLM technology moves closer to commercial production for future customers and provides an optimum alternative for the production of low-cost EV batteries. We have entered into product development programs with car and cell manufacturers who chose to fast-track our proprietary high-capacity-low-cost and recyclable solution thanks to its proven and distinct performance.—Ralph Kiessling, Executive Vice President Energy & Surface Technologies at Umicore