As the auto industry scrambles to produce more affordable electric vehicles, whose most expensive components are the batteries, lithium iron phosphate is gaining traction as the EV battery material of choice.

The popularity of the chemical compound known as LFP is due partly to environmental and geopolitical concerns. But technological advances have also reduced the performance gap with more widely used materials such as nickel and cobalt.

LFP, embraced by EV industry leader Tesla two years ago, has sparked new interest especially in the U.S., where a clutch of domestic and overseas manufacturers have pledged more than $14 billion in new production facilities.