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Switching battery chemistry for durability, availability


Switching battery chemistry for durability, availability

Truck at IAA

HANOVER, Germany — Daimler Truck is migrating its battery chemistry to a formula that eliminates nickel and cobalt to improve durability and reduce competition with the passenger car business for scarce materials.

Daimler will gradually move its vehicles to lithium iron phosphate batteries it has developed in partnership with China’s CATL. Iron and phosphate cost far less and are easier to mine than other battery materials.

“They are both cheap and plentiful almost everywhere and will definitely help to reduce the pressure on the battery supply chain as adoption grows,” said Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst with Guidehouse Insights.

Daimler, the German parent of Freightliner and Western Star truck brands, announced the strategy as it debuted a longer-haul electric truck for the European market at IAA Transportation 2022 on Monday.

“My fear is if the entire passenger car market, not just Tesla or the high-end cars, moves to batteries, there will be a fight,” Martin Daum, Daimler Truck’s CEO, told Automotive News. “And a fight always means higher pricing.”

— Jerry Hirsch

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