Improvements are being made to Samsung Electric Car Batteries…slowly
September 16, 2017 Tudor Purice
The batteries are some of the most important components of electric
They dictate the final price of the car, as well as its maximum operating
range and charging time. The last few years have allowed several companies
to rise to power in the EV battery industry.
Some of the most well known are:
- Panasonic, – supplies not only Tesla and Toyota, but also Mercedes and
Ford, to some degree;
- LG Chem, – supplies Chrysler, Ford, Audi, Hyundai, Nissan, Renault,
Volkswagen, and more;
- Samsung SDI – supplies BMW, Fiat, Mercedes, and Porsche;
An often asked question is what are the efforts of companies such as LG
Chem, Samsung SDI, and others in terms of remaining in competition with the
duo that consists of Tesla and Panasonic. Equally interesting is the
prospect that a Chinese company may wait and choose the perfect moment to
release a revolutionary product.
Of all the contenders, the strongest seems to be Samsung SDI. The company
introduced “multifunctional battery packs” at the Frankfurt Motor Show, this
week. The company claims that an electric vehicle equipped with their
battery technology can have a range of up to 700 km/430 miles.
If we are to compare this with the fact that the operating range of a Tesla
Model S is limited to 540 km, and that of the Tesla Model 3 to 500 km, then
the technology developed by Samsung could certainly bring something new to
the table. However, it is likely that the numbers offered by the Samsung
representatives are based on ideal conditions, and an optimistic New
European Driving Cycle. It is unlikely that their stated range would hold up
in the real world.
It is important to keep in mind that while the capacity of the batteries is
important, there are other factors that affect how useful they are when it
comes to their use in electric vehicles. Another important characteristic of
batteries is energy density. This essentially dictates how much energy can
be stored in a battery, and as a result, how small or how large they have to
be in order to enable a vehicle to store the optimal amount of electricity.
Energy density also affects the cost, weight and torque of a car. In this
case higher is usually better. Unfortunately, Samsung did not offer details
regarding these aspects of their new technology.
To put things into context, Samsung SDI has recently started selling
batteries with the 21700 form factor, instead of the traditional 18650. The
company also gives its clients the option to fully customize their battery
packs, however, this can not be considered a new practice, as Samsung has
been doing this for quite a while.
This having been said, the manufacturer has also presented the “Low Height
Cell.” These new, shorter cells could prove to be extremely successful, due
to the fact that carmakers would be able to use them in order to develop
more spacious electric vehicles.
The energy cell manufacturer also stated that it has constructed a new EV
battery plant in Hungary, in May, raising the number of Samsung SDI
factories to 3. The new manufacturing plant is located 25 km north of
Hungary’s capital, Budapest, production is planned to start in the second
half of 2018, and it should be able to supply batteries for 50,000
all-electric cars per year.
The fact that BMW tried using Samsung SDI batteries in order to build an
electric car, but scrapped the plan after one year is quite intriguing. It
may be that the batteries were not efficient or cheap enough for the car
manufacturer to build an affordable EV, however, it is impossible to know
There are experts who have claimed that one area in which Samsung SDI does
excel is long-term cost per kWh of its energy cells. Unfortunately, there is
no way of knowing for sure if this is true. The batteries that have been
already installed in vehicles need to get older, in order to determine their
The battery manufacturer is apparently also investing more money in its
Chinese plant at Xian, which is a perfectly logical move, considering that
the Chinese EV market is the biggest in the world
All in all, Samsung SDI will have an interesting future in the EV battery
industry, especially when considering the fact that it has closed its
hydrogen fuel cell division in order to focus on electric car cells. It
remains to be seen if Samsung will thrive in the EV battery market or not.
The new versions of BMW i3(containing Samsung batteries) may be proof of the
fact that the batteries manufactured by Samsung are getting better and
better, as the vehicle’s range has increased with every yearly model. We may
soon find that the manufacturer’s batteries will be on par with those
produced by other companies, if not better.
[© 2017 The Green Optimistic]
Samsung SDI’s latest electric-car battery cells: energy capacity up 50
17 September 2017 In a “multifunctional” battery pack it showed off,
fitting the maximum number of cell modules could provide future electric
cars with 400 miles or more of range ... Samsung multifunctional battery
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