On March 9 (KST), SK On revealed that it would display a mock-up of a prismatic battery at InterBattery 2023, the largest battery exhibition in Korea, to be held at COEX, Seoul from March 15 to 17. SK On has completed prototype development and plans to begin producing this type of cell within this year.
The prismatic battery of SK On is characterized by its fast-charging speed. SK On’s Super Fast (SF) battery, which received the Best of Innovation Awards at CES 2023, can charge up to 80% in 18 minutes, and the prismatic cell of SK On is going to enhance the speed further. The launching of prismatic cell will help SK On, which has been mainly producing pouch type, to reach more costumers.
Last year, when SK On participated InterBattery for the first time since its spinoff of SK Innovation, the main theme of the company’s exhibition was “Power On”, which marked SK On’s beginning to break through the market. This year, it wil be “Move On”, representing the company’s business expansion and advancement.
The key point of SK On’s exhibition at InterBattery 2023 is its diversified Cell Portfolio, which has not been disclosed so far. Along with the prismatic battery, the company will also unveil its LFP battery and the Cobalt Free (Co-Free) battery, which excludes the cobalt completely. In addition, all-solid-state batteries that incorporate SK On’s unique next-generation technology will also be displayed.
SK On succeeded in developing a Co-Free battery more than a year ahead of its target date. Ternary lithium batteries typically have a shorter lifespan without cobalt due to structural instability, but SK On has overcome this critical flaw. Furthermore, SK On has improved the energy density problem of Co-Free batteries through its proprietary high-nickel technology, resulting in an extended driving range. Cobalt, the most expensive material among the ternary lithium battery materials, will be replaced with either of nickel or manganese, which is expected to increase its price competitiveness.
This year’s exhibition will also feature SK On’s prototype LFP battery. Under cold weather, the mileage of a vehicle using an LFP battery is sharply decreased, normally to only 50% to 70% when the temperature hits -20 Celsius degree. However, SK On improved this problem, increase the level to 70% ~ 80%. It is thanks to the fact that SK On applied the material and electrode technology it accumulated through high-nickel batteries to LFP batteries. Although LFP batteries have a shorter driving range than ternary lithium batteries, they are cost-effective. It was evaluated for hitting two birds with one stone: technology and price.
The prototype of SK On’s all solid-state batteries, which are under development as next-generation batteries, will also be displayed at InterBattery 2023. Choi Kyoung-hwan, who is leading the development of SK On’s next generation batteries, will deliver a speech titled “All-solid-state Batteries: SK On’s Technology Strategy for Safer Batteries” on the opening day, March 15. To realize a safe battery with high energy density, SK On is now developing the sulfide-based all-solid-state batteries and the high molecular/oxide-based all-solid-state batteries.
SK On’s exhibition hall represents the power source (on) button, and consists of three zones. At the entrance of the booth, visitors will encounter SK On’s diversified portfolio and technology, globally renowned through various exhibitions such as the CES, the biggest home appliance and IT exhibition in the world. NCM9+, the high-nickel battery, which won the CES Innovation Award for two consecutive years, as well as the prototypes of Co-Free and LFP batteries will also be displayed here.
In the first zone, titled “Present”, visitors can touch the battery following the manufacturing order from battery raw materials to pouches, laminations and cells. Also the zone will introduce the premium separator blocking the contact of anodes and cathodes as well as the “Z-Folding Technique” which piles separators in zigzag. And it will unveil SK On’s Cell-to-Pack (CTP) technology through the “S-Pack” model that blocks heat to prevent fires from spreading from a battery cell to the entire pack.
The second zone “Application” shows the excellent performance of SK On’s high-nickel batteries through the example of “Vehicle to Load (V2L)” that supplies battery power to external electronic devices. The NCM9 battery gained great attention when an electric pick-up truck (F-150 Lightning) owner used the vehicle battery for 44 hours to power his house and 65% of the battery capacity still remained afterwards during the major power outage caused by heavy snowfall in Canada at the end of last year.
The third zone “Future” shows the next generation technologies that SK On dreams of through the all-solid-state batteries. Along with all the above, it also presents SK On’s Net Zero vision in carbon emissions and its eco-friendly policy covering the whole life-cycle of a battery from the raw materials to manufacturing, recharging, collecting and recycling waste batteries.
“We plan to introduce SK On’s current state and the cutting-edge EV battery technologies that will be deployed in the near future,” said an official from SK On. The official added, “SK On has established itself as a cell maker with world-class technology, and we will keep expanding our global competitiveness and meet the diverse needs of our customers through portfolio diversification.”