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Samsung SDI showcases modular battery pack

Source: Samsung SDI

Samsung’s SDI pushes its new range of modular EV battery packs at the Frankfurt Motor Show, following next-gen announcement in January

Samsung SDI is no stranger to automotive conferences, given its ties to the industry. In January, for example, it unveiled an impressive new “high-energy density battery” which it hopes to produce by 2021.

However, in Frankfurt this week, it is a new take on the multifunctional battery pack, developed from an existing modular structure that is gaining most of the attention. The Korean battery manufacturer believes that this development could influence the popularisation of EV’s in upcoming years.

These multifunctional packs allow for the installation of up to 20 modules on an EV chassis, dependant on the model’s desired range. Although Samsung SDI’s use of this modular construction is hardly new –the Model S boasts fewer modules and cells with higher energy densities included in its design – it does offer additional flexibility for automakers as they can install modules based on mileage that they are seeking to achieve for the design of their vehicle.

According to Samsung, these multifunctional b attery packs could offer users a range of up to 435 miles, with 20 modules in a premium car, or 186 miles with half of those modules in a standard EV.

“Our products unveiled at the show are expected to advance the popularisation of EVs because they use high technologies optimized to the needs of customers and the market,” Samsung SDI President Jun Young-hyun said. “We will keep leading the battery industry with our unrivalled technology.”

The modular “plug-and-play” approach could also play a key role in enabling faster scale-up for manufacturers looking to produce new EV models in the next few years, without having to invest in proprietary architecture.

Meanwhile, such advances have had an effect on companies like Germany’s VW, which has 80 EV models by 2025, especially given their reliance on suppliers like Samsung SDI and LG chem for battery cells. VW chief executive Herbert Diess has spoken out for the need for European battery suppliers to “step up” and provide competition for Asian manufacturers such as Samsung SDI.

In addition, SDI is also displaying its new 21700 standard cylindrical battery (21mm in diameter and 70mmin height). The model, 50% bigger than ubiquitous 18650 battery, is widely expected to be the industry’s next-generation standard – and is already slated for use in a large-scale Tesla storage project in Australia, and the upcoming Lucid Air from Lucid Motors.


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