Samsung SDI has begun pilot production of next-generation cylindrical batteries for electric vehicles at its plant in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province. The company is in the final stage of finalizing the standard for the new product.This battery is similar to the 4680-type cylindrical battery cell, which Tesla said it would apply to its models beginning from 2023. It is about 80 mm long and about 40 mm in diameter, but the final standard has not been fixed yet.
Compared to the existing 21700-type cylindrical battery (21 mm in diameter and 70 mm in length), Samsung SDI's new battery has higher energy density. A decrease in the number of unit cells boosts production efficiency. Samsung SDI plans to increase battery energy density and lower manufacturing costs by expanding the capacity of the new product.
As soon as the development process is completed, Samsung SDI plans to build additional factories in Malaysia or Hungary to mass-produce the new battery in earnest.
Industry experts predict that the new battery can be supplied to Tesla and Lucid Motors. This is because Tesla’s 4680 battery development and mass production are delayed, and the new battery is likely to be the only mass-produced battery in the world that is most similar to the 4680 type.
On top of that, Lucid Motors signed a contract with Samsung SDI in February 2021 to purchase cylindrical batteries. Although Samsung SDI currently supplies 21700-type batteries, it is highly likely to supply the new battery as its supply volume expands in the future. The new battery’s production efficiency is significantly higher than that of existing cylindrical products.