As reported by Reuters, South Korea’s SK Innovation said it has started commercial production of lithium-ion batteries with an increased portion of nickel, while reducing the usage of expensive components such as cobalt to extend battery life and cut costs.

With cobalt prices rising, Asian battery makers have been trying to develop new lithium-ion batteries with a higher proportion of nickel for use in electric cars.

Typically, nickel, manganese and cobalt (NMC) lithium-ion batteries employ a ratio of 60 percent nickel to 20 percent manganese and 20 percent cobalt.

SK Innovation, which owns South Korea’s top refiner SK Energy, said it started the production of mid- and large-sized batteries composed of 80 percent nickel, 10 percent cobalt and 10 percent manganese.

SK Innovation supplies batteries to Mercedes-Benz, South Korea’s Kia Motors as well as China’s BAIC Motor Corp.