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Lithium iron phosphate curbs the battery gap with nickel, cobalt

Battery expert Lukasz Bednarski, author of the 2021 book “Lithium: The Global Race for Battery Dominance and the New Energy Revolution,” believes automakers’ interest in building lower-priced EVs could be one of the drivers behind LFP’s rising popularity.

“LFP provides good enough performance at a lower cost, which makes it an attractive proposition for EVs for the middle class,” he said.

Bednarski added that the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides incentives “for the development of the whole battery chain (with no) preference for LFP chemistry.”

Rising investment in LFP manufacturing facilities in the United States is coming not just from domestic companies like Ford, ONE and General Motors.

Battery makers from Norway, Israel, South Korea and even China have committed to building US facilities to produce LFP materials, components and batteries, some of which will be used not in vehicles, but in large energy storage systems.

“LFP was invented in the US and first commercialized here,” said Whittingham. He said this happened before Chinese companies such as BYD and CATL “moved fast” to improve and deploy the technology, mainly in EVs.

Now, given its continued cost advantage over NCM, he added, LFP “should be used in all grid storage systems and lower-cost cars.”

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