Samsung Reveals Battery Cell To Take On Tesla And Panasonic

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【Summary】Samsung hopes to take on Tesla and Panasonic with a ‘2170’ battery cell, which it unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Feb 20, 2017 8:35 AM PT
Samsung Reveals Battery Cell To Take On Tesla And Panasonic

Tesla, who is arguably the leader in the electric segment of the automotive industry, announced a partnership with Panasonic to start the production of a battery cell last year. The ‘2170' battery cell will be manufactured at the automaker's Gigafactory in Sparks, NV. At the time, both companies claimed that the battery cell would be the cheapest mass-produced battery cell with the highest energy density on the market. At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, MI, Samsung unveiled its own variant of the ‘2170' battery cell.

Faster, More Powerful Batteries

Samsung didn't reveal a lot of information behind its battery cell, but did state that the technology would be able to give an electric vehicle a range of approximately 310.7 miles on a 20-minute charge. Charging the battery cell for 20 minutes fills roughly 80 percent of the battery.

Despite being the same format as Tesla and Panasonic's ‘2170' battery, the Korean company's referred to the cell as a "21700" cylindrical battery cell in a press release. "The ‘21700' cylindrical battery cell model with the improved energy density, power and performance was also exhibited by Samsung SDI."

Samsung, according to the press release, started construction on an automotive battery factory in Hungary last year. While the company didn't state that its new battery cell would be built in the European plant, it makes sense for Samsung to have its foot in China, Korea, and Europe. Regardless of where the battery will be built, Samsung hopes to start production of the cell in 2021.

The battery cell wasn't the only item Samsung unveiled at NAIAS. The Korean company also displayed an "integrated battery module." The module allows Samsung to fit double the amount of 21700 cells over a regular module.

"A conventional EV battery module which consists of 12 cells has a capacity of 2~3kWh. By contrast, an ‘integrated battery module' has more than 24 cells with a higher capacity of 6~8kWh," making the tech a large step forward in the world of electric vehicles.

Tesla And Panasonic Are Still In The Lead

Late last year, Tesla and Panasonic announced a partnership that would see the companies come out with a 2170 battery cell. According to a previous report from Electrek, the automaker currently utilizes 18650 battery cells that are made by Panasonic in its electric vehicles.

Mass production of the new 2170 battery cell, which will be used in the upcoming Tesla Model 3, from the two companies started earlier this month at the Gigafactory, reports Electrek. The 2170 battery, which is aptly named after its size that measures 21 mm by 70 mm, is taller and thicker than the current 18650 cell.

According to Tesla's press release, the Gigafactory plans to manufacture approximately 35 GWh/year of lithium-ion battery cells. That daunting figure, as Tesla points out, is almost as much the entire world's battery production.

In addition to helping Tesla come out with more powerful batteries, Panasonic is also working closely with Colorado's Department of Transportation (CDOT) to launch a driverless car program

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