eLNO battery to make racy COP26 debut

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Battery technology featuring a new nickel-rich cathode material called eLNO will go on show in a two-seater electric race car at the upcoming COP26 in Glasgow.

Developed by UK chemical firm Johnson Matthey, eLNO is claimed to give batteries a 20 per cent increase in energy density compared with the lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) materials that are widely used in today’s EV batteries.

The company says it has enhanced the chemistry of the cathode material using a proprietary stabiliser package and surface modification, engineering the cathode material down to the atomic level. This enables the use of high nickel contents for increased driving range, as well as a reduction in the level of cobalt present, which helps sustain cycle life and stability.

The two-seater racing EV which will showcase the new eLNO battery was designed and engineered in partnership with the Envision Virgin Racing team and is being produced and assembled by Delta Cosworth. The battery cells were developed by Germany’s EAS Batteries and manufactured using an almost dry coating process – said to have a far lower carbon footprint than typical wet coating – with a non-toxic solvent, and less solvent waste than standard cell production processes.

“Our eLNO technology will provide a step-change in battery energy density for electric vehicles going on sale in just a few years’ time. It therefore supports the industry’s commitment to fighting climate change,” said Christian Gϋnther, Battery Materials Sector chief executive at Johnson Matthey.

“We are proud to have worked with Envision Virgin Racing to present eLNO in the exciting race car at the world’s biggest climate change event. It represents an important step towards high volume production of the technology in Europe within the next few years.”