Samsung SDI begins mass production of high-performance Gen 5 EV battery

2021.10.04 13:00:30 | 2021.10.04 13:26:19

[Photo provided by Samsung SDI Co.]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Samsung SDI Co.]

Samsung SDI Co. has begun mass production of Gen 5 Li-ion battery cells that offer 20 percent longer driving range for electric vehicles at cheaper manufacturing cost.

The EV battery producer under South Korea’s Samsung Group has kicked off commercial production of its new prismatic battery cells at its Hungary plant last month, according to industry sources on Sunday.

Its Gen 5 batteries are next-generation nickel-cobalt-aluminum (NCA) batteries with 88-percent nickel content, which allow electric cars to travel over 600 kilometers (372.8 miles) on a single charge or 20 percent longer range than conventional battery cells. Materials cost is also 20 percent less.

Samsung SDI is the first among its rivals to introduce the next-gen Li-ion battery cell in the market.

The Gen 5 batteries will reportedly power German automaker BMW`s new EV models iX and i4 to be released this fall.

The EV battery maker has proved its technological leadership also in cylindrical battery. The Range version of Air Dream Edition, American EV company Lucid Motors`s flagship sedan powered by Samsung SDI’s next-gen cylindrical battery cells, has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-rated range of 837 kilometers (520 miles), replacing the top record held by Tesla’s Model S Long Range Plus.

Samsung SDI’s technological accomplishments stem from its bold R&D investments, which amounted to 640.8 billion won ($540 million) in 2018 and 712.6 billion won in 2019 and over 800 billion won last year. Its R&D expenditure accounted for 6.6 percent of sales in 2018, 7.7 percent in 2019 and 7.2 percent in 2020.

Its R&D spending for the first half of this year came to 436.5 billion won, taking up 51 percent of total 852.7 billion won invested by the country’s top 3 EV battery players – LG Energy Solution, SK Innovation and Samsung SDI.

By Won Ho-seop and Cho Jeehyun

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