R.J. Scaringe, Rivian’s CEO, introduces the world to his firm’s R1T all-electric pickup and all-electric R1S SUV on the Los Angeles Auto Present in Los Angeles, California, November 27, 2018.
Mike Blake | Reuters
Electrical car maker Rivian plans to make use of new varieties of battery cells in its electrical vans, supply vans and SUVs the corporate mentioned Thursday in a 2021 fourth-quarter shareholder letter. These embody cells made with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry for its standard-level autos, and high-nickel chemistry for its longer-range autos.
LFP battery cells don’t require any nickel or cobalt, which could be costly or laborious to acquire. They’re additionally usually thought-about extra steady, however much less energy-dense, than nickel cobalt aluminum oxide cells, which had been utilized by Tesla and different automakers in electrical autos. Whereas they are often absolutely discharged and charged with out as a lot injury to the cell over time, LFP batteries don’t usually ship the identical vary as NCA and different varieties.
Excessive-nickel chemistry batteries, in the meantime, are extra vitality dense, could be charged extra shortly and ship extra miles per cost for a pack of the identical or much less weight made with these cells.
Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe defined on an earnings call after hours on Thursday that the corporate and its suppliers are dealing with quite a lot of constraints because of the Covid pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and their impacts on world provide chains. He mentioned Rivian was ” probably the most difficult provide chain environments the automotive trade had ever seen.”
Scaringe mentioned that the primary LFP cell is being sourced by way of a companion, which he didn’t title, however mentioned that the corporate is “additionally growing in-house battery chemistries and battery manufacturing capabilities.”
Rivian Industrial Automobiles, such because the EDV-700 it developed for Amazon, ought to have “related day by day vary capabilities with LFP chemistry, and this chemistry gives significant price financial savings for us,” Rivian wrote in its shareholder letter.
In its shopper electrical autos, together with the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, Rivian expects an estimated vary of over 260 miles with the LFP-based commonplace battery pack.
Tesla announced plans to change to LFP battery cells for its commonplace battery packs in October 2021, and each firms are following within the footsteps of Chinese language electrical car and battery producers. The expertise has been usually promoted in China, and as battery researchers Roskill have famous, round 95% of LFP cathode manufacturing is predicated in China. Eliminating cobalt means lowering reliance on suppliers the place compelled labor continues to be a priority. Cobalt extraction continues to be largely concentrated within the Democratic Republic of Congo, the place it’s linked to human rights abuses and little one labor.
Rivian is aiming to supply 25,000 battery electrical autos in 2022 and goals to ship its 55,000th car inside 2023.
The corporate’s shares dropped greater than 12% after hours on Thursday after the corporate missed Wall Avenue’s fourth-quarter earnings expectations and forecast a modest improve in car manufacturing for 2022.