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LG's just made an electric car battery breakthrough Tesla still can't master and it's likely to make EVs cheaper

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LG battery
LG battery

Making better electric car batteries for less money has become the tech industry’s search for the fountain of youth and more frequently there are promising breakthroughs which is just what’s been announced by electronics giant LG, with dry coating batteries.

The LG announcement reveals the company is further ahead in its development of dry coating batteries than rivals such as Tesla who are struggling to master the process.

Dry coating refers to the process of making two fundamental components of a battery - anode and cathode, between which a charge can travel through an electrolyte.

Battery anodes and cathodes are currently made in a wet process which is hugely expensive and energy consuming. Wet coating needs the anode and cathode to be covered in toxic solvents which are then dried. This is done at high temperatures in ovens up to a hundred metres long consuming vast amounts of energy.

Dry coating is far less energy intensive and also more environmentally friendly because drying ovens aren’t required, nor is dealing with the solvent waste.

Many tech companies have tried to master the dry coating process but have failed. Tesla has been attempting to make progress on dry coating since 2020 but the incredibly tricky methods meant only the anode could be coated.

Now LG has surprised the industry with the announcement that not only has solved the dry coating challenges but it plans to enter full scale production within four years, the company’s Energy Solution chief Kim Je-young told the Japan Times.

When it comes to dry coating technology “among battery competitors, LG is the top,” Kim said.

Kim went on to say that following a pilot production line, full scale production would start in 2028.    

The breakthrough not only means a more environmentally sound and cleaner battery production but a more cost effective process which could potentially reduce the price of electric vehicles.

LG's latest development is distinct from solid state batteries – another major technology companies such as Nissan are looking at for breakthroughs – and will better suit lower cost EVs.

Korea’s LG Energy is the world's second largest battery maker. China’s CATL and BYD, however, currently dominate the electric vehicle battery industry.

Recently LG signed a multi-billion dollar deal with Renault to supply Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.  Toyota has also inked a deal with the battery supplier.

Richard Berry
Senior Journalist
Richard had wanted to be an astrophysicist since he was a small child. He was so determined that he made it through two years of a physics degree, despite zero mathematical ability. Unable to build a laser in an exam and failing to solve the theoretical challenge of keeping a satellite in orbit, his professor noted the success Richard was enjoying in the drama and writing courses he had been doing on the side. Even though Richard couldn’t see how a degree in story-telling and pretending would ever get him a job, he completed one anyway. Richard has since been a best-selling author and a journalist for 20 years, writing about science, music, finance, cars, TV, art, film, cars, theatre, architecture, food, and cars. He also really likes cars, and has owned an HQ ute, Citroen 2CV, XW Falcon, CV8 Monaro and currently, a 1951 Ford Tudor. A husband and dad, Richard’s hobbies also include astronomy.
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