In 2020, we did a video about future battery improvements. We predicted that the high nickel lithium ion cells would be next in line. And it seems they are. Watch the video below for the full story, or keep on reading,
More energy, same size and weight
High nickel cells are now being produced in China, according to Battery News. These cells have a “gravimetric energy density” of 302 Wh/kg. We expect the weight to be pretty much unchanged, and the cell volume will be identical. These new cells are being produced in the 21700 form factor, and we assume they could be built as 18650 cells too. The LG Chem NMC811 is a high nickel cell too. They are now being delivered in the Tesla Model 3, but we don’t know the energy denisty of these cells.
The cells used in the current ebike batteries have an energy density between 250 and 260 Wh/kg, so the new cells contains about 16% more energy. If the new cells come in the 18650 form factor, a 504 Wh battery will be bumped up to 588 Wh using the new cells. Size and weight will remain unchanged. A 630 Wh battery will increase to 735 Wh. The 720 Wh battery using 21700 cells will turn into a 840 Wh battery.
When will we see these battery cells in ebikes? No one in the ebike industry will talk about this, it’s a secret. So, we can only speculate. The electric car industry is pushing this development. They need all the cells they can get, so there will be little left for others. But, as production capacity increases, ebikes too should get these cells. A couple of years ago, there was a rumor saying 2023. But this was pre corona. We expect the new and more energy dense batteries will be introduced with model year 2024 ebikes. At best.