Samsung SDI potentially might become another supplier of the 4680-type cylindrical battery cells for Tesla, like Panasonic and LG Energy Solution (rumor).
According to The Elec‘s unofficial sources, Samsung SDI is developing various versions of the 4680-type batteries, or rather cylindrical cells with a diameter of 46 mm and different heights.
Besides the base form factor of 4680 (46 mm in diameter and 80 mm tall), reportedly the company works also on a shorter version with a length between 40 mm to 60 mm.
According to the article, the company might target other customers/applications, which require shorter cells (or maybe a double battery stack).
Important is that the diameter would remain the same, probably to be able to produce both types with minimal changes to the production line.
We don’t know whether the rumors are true. Currently, Tesla produces 4680-type battery cells in-house in the US, while Panasonic officially admits that it was asked to speed up development.
The Korea Herald reported about 4680-type battery cell development by South Korean Samsung SDI and LG Energy Solution in 2021. Actually, in February 2021, we heard a rumor that LGES is going to build a pilot production line.
In other words, major battery manufacturers are very likely actively looking into the new cell format to maybe do business with Tesla – the world’s largest electric car manufacturer and lithium-ion battery consumer.
We are curious whether smaller cells – 46(40-60) – have something to do with other manufacturers. For example, CATL is expected to supply BMW with cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells. Samsung SDI also is a battery supplier for BMW (prismatic cells).
If the German manufacturer really has decided to switch to a new cylindrical form factor, then the necessity of diversification of the supply chain would probably mean orders of cylindrical cells from at least 2-3 battery manufacturers, including Samsung SDI.
Overall, the 4680-type battery topic already has been ongoing for a few years, since Tesla announced the new type in September 2020. Soon, we should hear something about the investment plans, other than Tesla’s production in Texas and in Germany.
Source: The Elec
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