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China’s EV Battery Industry Headed in Two Seemingly Opposite Directions

The cobalt-free Blade lithium iron phosphate electric vehicle battery manufactured by BYD. Image via BYD.

Chinese chemicals manufacturer Jiangsu Lopal Tech announced a new joint venture with a Chinese fertiliser company to build a new factory to manufacture materials for use in lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries that are used to power electric cars. When fully operational, the new plant in central Hubei province will produce up to 50,000 tons a year.

Automakers are keen to develop LFP-batteries to power their new fleets of electric vehicles because they’re safer and more affordable than the current standard nickel-cobalt-aluminum/nickel-cobalt-manganese batteries, mostly because of the high cost of sourcing cobalt.

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