At the World New Energy Vehicle Conference, Samsung SDI revealed the latest progress of its 46 series battery cell development to the public. The head of Samsung SDI China, Cui Xun, said Samsung SDI will determine the final specifications of its battery, which has a diameter of 46 mm.
Tesla has been using 4680 cells in some of its electric cars, which have a diameter of 46mm and a length of 80mm. Previous news said that both Samsung SDI and Panasonic will be Tesla suppliers.
But in fact, Samsung is developing more than 4680 batteries, Samsung SDI is also developing 4695 and 46120 batteries, which are 46mm in diameter, the same as 4680, but the difference is in the height, which is 95mm and 120mm respectively.
The 46 series cylindrical cells developed by Samsung SDI have higher capacity and higher energy density, and are currently in the emerging product development stage, with designs expected to be finalized and mass production to begin in 2023, said Hoon. This is similar to the timeline of competitors LG Energy Solution and Panasonic, which expect to complete the development of their 4680 cells by 2023.
According to Choi Hoon, Samsung SDI’s power battery solution focuses on both increasing battery energy density and reducing fast charging time. Samsung SDI has both material and structural advantages to increase the energy density of the battery. They will use high nickel cathodes with over 90% nickel content and silicon anodes with the energy density of more than 520Wh/L, 78% of Samsung SDI’s 5th generation prismatic batteries.
In addition to improving product capacity and power performance, Samsung SDI will further increase energy density and safety through a square stack design in the structure. In addition, the fast-charging solution will improve fast-charging capability through a high embedded rate graphite material and an optimized ion dispersion pathway pole structure.
It is reported that Samsung SDI is building a 4680 battery test line in Cheonan, Korea, and the first batch of equipment has been ordered, with a planned annual capacity of 1 GWh. If the test goes well, Samsung SDI will mass produce 4680 batteries in its Malaysia plant, with a planned capacity of 8-12 GWh. SDI is already building a second plant there.