High-Nickel Cathode Materials for High-Energy, Long-Life, Low-Cost Lithium-Ion Batteries

Arumugam Manthiram, Shriram Santhanagopalan

Research output: NRELManagement


By virtue of high energy content, lithium-ion batteries occupy a privileged position in the energy storage landscape, from portable electronics to electric vehicles (EV). In spite of this success, energy and cost requirements of lithium-ion batteries are extremely stringent, especially for transportation applications. To this end, there is a need to further enhance the energy content of state-of-the-art nickel-based layered oxides(Li[NiaCobMnc]O2 witha + b + c = 1, denoted as NCM-abc and Li[Ni1-x-yCoxAly]O2, denoted as NCA) deployed in passenger electric vehicles, which will be the cathode material of choice for passenger electric vehicles at least through the next decade. In addition, the substantial dependence on cobalt in these cathodes (e.g., 12 wt.% Co in NCM-622), a scarce and costly metal primarily mined from Central Africa with geopolitical concerns, must be lowered for sustained mass market penetration of electric vehicles. If nothing changes in the current cathode formulations, demand for Co could outstrip supply by 2030 with surging global EV production, setting the stage for far higher prices. Though Co-free commercial cathodes exist, i.e., lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) and lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4), they offer much lower energy contents and cannot meet the requirements of next-generation automotive batteries for passenger electric vehicles.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

See the Vehicle Technologies Office Batteries 2019 Annual Progress Report at https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/06/f75/VTO_2019_APR_Batteries-FINAL2_-compressed_0.pdf

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/MP-5700-78725


  • electric vehicles (EV)
  • lithium-based automotive batteries
  • lithium-ion batteries


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