Wildcat Discovery Technologies yesterday announced plans to build a U.S.-based plant to produce a portfolio of safe, sustainable and abundant cathode materials. According to the company, it has made significant progress with nickel-free and cobalt-free cathodes.
The announcement reflects a strategy shift for Wildcat, which has excelled in battery materials research and engineering since 2006. Wildcat expects its plant will be operational to supply lithium iron phosphate (LFP) in late 2026, lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP) in 2027 and disordered rock salt (DRX) in 2028.
Finalist site negotiations are under way for the plant, which will have initial capacity of 15,000 metric tons with expansion to 30,000 metric tons.
Wildcat is already producing LFP samples for customers and is partnering with a major commercial truck manufacturer to develop a differentiated LMFP.
Additionally, the company is leveraging its joint development agreement with BMW to advance global leadership in the development of DRX. Beyond the superior safety profile of DRX, Wildcat's testing indicates the energy density of DRX cathodes is 10-20% higher than the best nickel-based cathodes.
Demand is increasing for nickel-free cathode materials that are produced in North America. The cathode accounts for about 50% of the cost of a battery cell, but more than 95% of the global LFP supply today is from China. Wildcat's expertise in battery development is a distinct advantage for scaling cathode materials in the market.
The company leverages a unique high throughput platform that enables comprehensive experiments to be done 10 times faster than conventional methods. The process enables premium materials benchmarking, cell optimization and systematic scale-up to pair the cathode with the right anode and electrolyte combinations.