Harsha Walvekar1, Hector Beltran2, Shashank Sripad3 and Michael Pecht4
1 University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
2 Universitat Jaume I, Castelló de la Plana, Spain
3Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
4 Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742, USA
Lithium-ion batteries are the ubiquitous energy storage device of choice in portable electronics and more recently, in electric vehicles. However, there are numerous lithium-ion battery chemistries and in particular, several cathode materials that have been commercialized over the last two decades, each with their own unique features and characteristics. In 2021, Tesla Inc. announced that it would change the cell chemistry used in its mass-market electric vehicles (EVs) from Lithium-Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminum-Oxide (NCA) to cells with Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LFP) cathodes. Several other automakers have followed this trend by announcing their own plans to move their EV production to LFP. One of the reasons stated for this transition was to address issues with the nickel and cobalt supply chains. In this paper, we examine the trend of adopting LFP for mass-market electric vehicles, explore alternative reasons behind this transition, and analyze the effects this change will have on consumers.
This article is available online here for free.