According to the South Korean media, SK Innovation intends to further gradually maximize the nickel content (and reduce the cobalt content) in its next-generation lithium-ion batteries, beyond the NCM 811 (nickel:cobalt:manganese at a ratio of 8:1:1).
The new roadmap is to introduce NCM 9½½ type (88% nickel and only about 5% of cobalt) around 2023, and then move towards 98% nickel by 2030 with possible mid-90% types along the way, depending on carmakers’ requests.
A separate project is batteries with zero cobalt, but it might mean completely different chemistry.
SK Innovation is not an exception among the battery manufacturers, as all of them are offering or working on low-cobalt solutions, including switching to NCMA/NCA (chemistries used on a mass scale by Panasonic/Tesla).
Rendering of the SK Innovation battery plant in Georgia (currently under construction)
All-Electric F-150 Prototype
According to the media reports, those new NCM 9½½ cells might be used in the Ford F-150 EV.
It will be interesting to see whether SK Innovation will succeed with this new chemistry. The company is investing heavily in manufacturing capacity, and the only way forward is to have at least a competitive technology.