A growing number of global automakers are moving to use cylindrical batteries for their electric vehicles (EVs).
An increasing number of automakers are focusing on cylindrical electric vehicle (EV) batteries, and the examples include BMW. According to industry sources, the company is considering using cylindrical instead of prismatic batteries in its new platform starting from 2025 and this is for the purpose of battery cost reduction. “Samsung SDI, CATL, EVE Energy and Northvolt have supplied prismatic batteries to BMW and the automaker is planning to procure cylindrical batteries from the same companies,” one of them said.
Cylindrical batteries are small and standardized in size, high in energy density, and easy and inexpensive to produce in quantity. Although those are somewhat disadvantageous in terms of space utilization, the ongoing EV battery shortage is likely to last long and cylindrical batteries are emerging as an alternative.
Under the circumstances, LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI are expanding their cylindrical EV battery manufacturing facilities. LG Energy Solution announced in March that it would build a 11 GWh capacity plant in Arizona at an investment 1.7 trillion won for mass production commencement in the second half of 2024. The company is aiming to increase its annual capacity to at least 60 GWh this year.
Samsung SDI is expanding production lines in Cheonan and Malaysia. The new production lines are expected to increase its cylindrical battery production capacity by more than 20 percent. According to market research firm SNE Research, cylindrical batteries are expected to account for 26 percent of the total market demand in 2030 whereas the current ratio is 19 percent.