If there’s EV battery production news, there’s a good chance it’s about CATL, the largest EV battery producer in the world. In today’s case, the CATL news is not actually from CATL, but rather a CATL supplier namedropping the Chinese battery giant to brag a bit.
The news is that CATL will be using Toyocolor’s Lioaccum™ conductive carbon nanotube (CNT) dispersions in its next-generation batteries.
“Lioaccum CNT dispersions are scheduled for installation into mass-produced vehicles beginning 2024,” Toyocolor adds. “The Lioaccum dispersion is a key material for increasing LiB capacity and for extending the cruising range of electric vehicles (EVs), in particular luxury automobiles. Established in Franklin, Kentucky in the United States, LioChem e-Materials is Toyo Ink SC Holdings’ second production base for conductive CNT dispersions in North America. The new manufacturing facility is scheduled to come on stream in 2025 with plans to gradually raise the Group’s U.S. production capacity to four times the current level.”
Toyocolor gives a nod to US President Joe Biden’s initiatives to accelerate EV adoption and EV battery production in the United States, indicating that these efforts have given a signal to Toyocolor and others to get more production rolling stateside in order to catch the biggest battery business waves possibles in the States. Announcement after announcement in this sector has been referencing this shift in US EV and battery policy. Congratulations are due for Biden and his colleagues in Congress for spurring on this industry so much in such a short time.
Toyocolor has a major connection to another leading EV battery producer we’ve been writing about recently. SK On, which has seen its EV battery orders popping through the roof in the United States and is hiring thousands of workers in the state of Georgia, has been an early user of parent company Toyo Ink’s Lioaccum CNT dispersions via another subsidiary. “In 2021, South Korean battery manufacturer SK On adopted Lioaccum dispersions supplied by Toyo Ink’s wholly-owned subsidiary LioChem Inc. in Georgia, USA. While the Group had been investing in production expansion of the Georgia facility, its current supply could not keep up with the rapid rise in local demand. To meet the projected future needs of its customers, Toyo Ink SC Holdings concluded a joint venture with Inabata & Co., Ltd., a LiB materials business partner with the Toyo Ink Group, holding a minority interest.”
So, Toyo Ink now has two new factories in the US, and although they are in non-bordering states, they aren’t actually that far from each other, as the map below shows.
“The establishment of our second factory in the U.S. allows us to support the long-term growth of our customers in North America,” explains Hideki Okaichi, executive operating officer of Toyo Ink SC Holdings. “Lioaccum has received high marks as a high-performance dispersion for high-end automobiles, as evidenced by its adoption by the U.S. and European operations of SK ON and the world’s largest automotive battery manufacturer CATL. We’re committed to making further improvements in battery performance and to growing our battery materials business into a core pillar of operations, as we work to further realize a low-carbon society created by the widespread use of EVs on a global scale.”Here’s a little more about the tech as well: “The Lioaccum dispersion adopted by CATL is a key material that contributes to the expanded capacity and energy density of LiBs through the adoption of highly conductive CNTs. While the stable distribution of high-performance carbon nanotubes was once considered difficult to accomplish, Toyocolor succeeded in applying its proprietary dispersion technology to overcome technical hurdles and achieve highly stable CNT dispersions of high quality.”What battery news is next for the USA? And what’s CATL’s next move?