Access to up-to-date lithium-ion battery cells is crucial for a wide range of academic research areas. However, researchers generally do not have access to the latest battery cells from large manufacturers and therefore have to rely on outdated commercially available battery cells for parametrization and prototyping studies.
To quantify the gap between commercially available battery cells and the state of the art, we collected data on lithium-ion cells by web-scraping online battery market places. The resulting database contains the energy density, specific energy, cycle life, charging and discharging c-rates, specific cost and release date of over 800 cells. Additionally, data on the transient price development of individual cells was collected.
The results show that correlations between cell properties on the one hand and cell chemistry, cell format, and cell capacity on the other hand generally agree with literature. One exception is the higher specific price of commercial LFP cells compared to NMC cells, which may be explained by their lower energy density combined with the large overhead of selling individual cells. Correlations between individual cell properties, e.g. energy density and charging rate, reveal the trade-offs involved in battery cell design. The improvement of individual cell properties over time is in-line with results from other studies. Furthermore, a trend towards higher capacity cells can be seen. The price development of individual cells, however, shows that the price of commercially available batteries is highly reactive to market forces. A comparison of cell properties with development targets and state of the art automotive cells shows that commercially available lithium-ion cells are lagging behind the status quo by approximately 5 years.