Wildcat Discovery Technologies to build US plant for nickel-free and cobalt-free cathode materials

Wildcat Discovery Technologies, a technology company that uses proprietary high-throughput methods to develop new battery materials rapidly, announced it will build a US-based plant to produce a portfolio of nickel-free and cobalt-free cathode materials.

The announcement reflects a strategy shift for Wildcat, which has focused on battery materials research and engineering since 2006. Wildcat expects its plant will be operational to supply lithium iron phosphate (LFP) in late 2026, lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP) in 2027, and disordered rock salt in 2028.

Finalist site negotiations are under way for the plant, which will have initial capacity of 15,000 metric tons with expansion to 30,000 metric tons.

Wildcat is already producing LFP samples for customers and is partnering with a major commercial truck manufacturer to develop a differentiated LMFP.

Additionally, the company is leveraging its joint development agreement with BMW to advance global leadership in the development of DRX. Beyond the superior safety profile of DRX, Wildcat’s testing indicates the energy density of DRX cathodes is 10-20% higher than the best nickel-based cathodes.

“After 15 years of battery materials research, our new purpose is to produce high-performance US-made cathodes to enable widespread adoption of clean energy. This is a breakthrough opportunity for us to capitalize on the growing need for US-made cathodes for electric vehicles, grid storage, and other purposes”, says Wildcat President and CEO Mark Gresser.

Demand is increasing significantly for nickel-free cathode materials that are produced in North America. The cathode accounts for about 50% of the cost of a battery cell, but more than 95% of the global LFP supply today is from China. Wildcat says that its deep expertise in battery development is a distinct advantage for scaling cathode materials in the market.

Wildcat leverages its unique high throughput platform that enables comprehensive experiments to be done 10 times faster than conventional methods. The process enables premium materials benchmarking, cell optimization, and systematic scale-up to pair the cathode with the right anode and electrolyte combinations.

Battery cells are complex systems, and Wildcat recognizes the best cathode in the world doesn’t guarantee a successful battery. That’s why we partner with customers to help align and integrate all elements of the full battery cell for optimal performance and maximum value”, says Mark Gresser.

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