$RIVN to follow $TSLA's lead in Battery Pack

Cutting to the chase: cheaper cars and trucks will not come with the more expensive high-nickel chemistry for longer ranges. Instead, cheaper cars with smaller ranges will get the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries with no nickel.


Electric vehicle maker Rivian plans to use new types of battery cells in its electric trucks, delivery vans and SUVs the company said Thursday in a 2021 fourth-quarter shareholder letter. These include cells made with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry for its standard-level vehicles, and high-nickel chemistry for its longer-range vehicles.

LFP battery cells do not require any nickel or cobalt, which can be expensive or hard to obtain. They are also generally considered more stable, but less energy-dense, than nickel cobalt aluminum oxide cells, which had been used by Tesla and other automakers in electric vehicles. While they can be fully discharged and charged without as much damage to the cell over time, LFP batteries do not generally deliver the same range as NCA and other types.

High-nickel chemistry batteries, meanwhile, are more energy dense, can be charged more quickly and deliver more miles per charge for a pack of the same or less weight made with these cells.