[Photo provided by LG Chem]
South Korea’s LG Chem said on Monday it will expand application of low-cobalt batteries to power not just electric vehicles but also everyday IT devices.
Cobalt is one of key materials to make batteries, but its high and volatile price puts a growing pressure on profitability of the manufacturer. The cobalt supply that was at $20,000-$30,000 range in 2016 hit $95,500 in March.
LG Chem spent about 50,000 tons cobalt last year, of which 30,000 tons went to batteries for notebooks, smartphones and other IT devices, which are larger than those used for EV batteries in the same period.
LG Chem`s low-cobalt battery for notebooks is equipped with new technologies that significantly reduce cobalt content while maintaining good features of existing products. LG Chem aims to mass-produce `high-nickel` batteries with a cobalt content of less than 5 percent and a nickel content of 90 percent in anode materials by 2020 to reinforce the business in the small battery field.
By Kang Doo-soon and Minu Kim
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