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Issue 5, 2011
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Who will drive electric vehicles, olivine or spinel?

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Lithium iron phosphate olivine (LFP) and lithium manganese oxide spinel (LMO) are competitive and complementary to each other as cathode materials for lithium ion batteries, especially for use in hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles. Interest in these materials, due to their low cost and high safety, has pushed research and development forward and toward high performance in terms of rate capability and capacity retention or cyclability at a high temperature of around 60 °C. From the view point of basic properties, LFP shows a higher gravimetric capacity while LMO has better conductivities, both electrically and ionically. According to our comparison experiments, depending on the material properties and operational potential window, LFP was favored for fast charging while LMO led to better discharge performances. Capacity fading at high temperatures due to metal dissolution was revealed to be the most problematic issue of LFP and LMO-based cells for electric vehicles (EVs), with thicker electrodes, in the case of no additives in the electrolyte and no coating to prevent metal dissolution on cathode materials. Various strategies to enhance the properties of LFP and LMO are ready for the realization of EVs in the near future.

Graphical abstract: Who will drive electric vehicles, olivine or spinel?

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The article was received on 13 Oct 2010, accepted on 04 Jan 2011 and first published on 16 Feb 2011

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C0EE00559B
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2011,4, 1621-1633
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    Who will drive electric vehicles, olivine or spinel?

    O. K. Park, Y. Cho, S. Lee, H. Yoo, H. Song and J. Cho, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 1621
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EE00559B

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