DailyTech writes researchers are working on a new type of battery that replaces the oxide and expensive cobalt or nickel of li-ion batteries with a phosphate and manganese or iron. These new lithium metal phosphate (LMP) batteries would be cheaper to manufacture, while offering similar performance levels as current li-ion batteries.
Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with help from the U.S. Department of Energy are working on developing Li-ion batteries which can perform at similar levels, but cost much less to produce. The cost reduction will come from a change in both production methods and materials used.
In theory, LMP should be rather competitive with typical Li-ion metal oxide batteries, with a capacitance of about 170 milliAmp hours in one gram of material. In past tests, researchers had been able to get up to 120 milliAmp hours with lithium metal phosphate-based batteries. Choi and colleagues where able to get 168 milliAmp hours per gram of material in their best case charge/discharge tests. But the number dipped as low as 54 milliAmp hours during a fast/fast "real world" test cycle.