Sumitomo Metal Mining has revealed as part of its most recent 3-year business plan that it will be boosting production of NCA materials — lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminum-oxide materials used in lithium-ion battery cathodes — in anticipation of supplying Tesla during Model 3 production.
A similar move was made by the company back in 2014 when it boosted production of lithium nickel oxide from 300 tons to 850 tons a month in order to meet Model S production demands. This production figure was then increased in 2015 to 1,850 tons a month.
The new production boost will see production expand roughly 38% — up to 2,550 tons a month, going by the company’s new 3-year business plan.
Green Car Congress provides some background here:
Sumitomo Metal Mining is the only refiner of E-nickel and cobalt in Japan. The company is working to increase the performance and stable supply of cathode materials for rechargeable batteries by drawing on the strengths deriving from its handling of all steps involved, from nickel ore smelting to advanced materials manufacturing.
Sumitomo Metal Mining’s other main battery material products is nickel hydroxide, which is also used in cathodes in nickel metal hydride batteries, which are still used in some of Toyota Motor Corporation’s hybrid vehicles. Sumitomo Metal Mining’s nickel hydroxide has a large share of the market. Sumitomo Metal Mining also intends to increase its production of nickel by 20% at its Taganito nickel refinery in the Philippines.
Yet another example of things gearing up for the Model 3 launch next year… Things are getting closer….
Image Credit: Sumitomo Metal Mining