Last month, we reported on Faraday Future reportedly signing a massive $2.4 billion supply contract with LG Chem for battery cells. Today, the startup confirmed the supply agreement with LG without talking about the actual size of the contract.
Though the electric vehicle startup did release new details. For example, they say that they “worked closely with LG Chem to develop unique chemistry requirements for FF products”. They claim that the result is “the world’s highest energy density [cell] for a production automotive battery.”
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They didn’t confirm much more other than that the cells will be used in Faraday Future’s VPA platform, the company’s scalable modular battery structure which is also being used for LeEco’s LeSee electric vehicle.
Interestingly, the company released a teaser picture of the battery cell on their Twitter account (see below) and it looks like a cylindrical cell – similar to the Tesla/Panasonic 18650 cell used in current Tesla vehicles.
Here’s FF’s VPA platform and the teaser of the battery cell the company released on its Twitter account:
Most electric vehicles, other than Tesla’s, are powered by pouch or prismatic cells and not cylindrical cells commonly found in electronic products. Even LG Chem, who manufactures both products, only sells pouch cells for its clients in the EV industry, like the GM with the Volt or the Bolt.
It would be a new relationship for LG Chem with FF, something closer to the relationship between Tesla and Panasonic. Tesla’s ability to make battery packs with thousands of cylindrical cells has long been considered as being a significant advantage over the rest of the industry in the reason why no other EV has a large (60+ kWh) battery pack like Tesla’s.
Tom Wessner, VP of Global Supply Chain at Faraday Future, commented on the announcement:
“LG Chem worked closely with Faraday Future to develop a tailored cell chemistry to optimize the range and safety of our mass production battery hardware. At FF, we are working with world-class suppliers to advance our technological innovations, and we look forward to our relationship with LG Chem as we push towards our vision of future mobility.”
UB Lee, the President of Energy Solution Company at LG Chem, also commented on the announcement:
“As a leading supplier of automotive cells and batteries, we are proud to work alongside Faraday Future as we work together to create the next generation of electric vehicles. Our progress so far represents a major step forward in battery technology, and we look forward to growing our partnership and co-developing hardware into the future.”
As we reported when the contract first leaked, there’s no word on the timeline for the delivery, but we can get a rough idea of the volume based on its value. If it’s really worth $2.4 billion as previously reported, a rough price of ~$145/ kWh represents ~16.5 GWh of battery cells. At ~80 kWh per battery pack, it could be big enough for ~200,000 vehicles.