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Samsung SDI shows new battery tech at NAIAS

Samsung SDI at the Detroit Motor Show

The display included an insight into Samsung SDI’s new battery range of products and its seemingly revolutionary “graphene balls”

With the development of battery tech being one of the primary forces in the EV industry, it is no surprise that Samsung SDI used the platform of the North American International Auto Show to display its latest developments in the technology.

The company’s promise – that “the future of electric vehicles starts today” –hung on its new range of energy storage technology, including a new material which has been developed alongside a team of researchers from the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and a range of battery products.

On display in Detroit were a range of prismatic cells, modules and packs – a lineup which Samsung SDI revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in September. The battery maker now estimates that its cells can offer EVs a range of up to a 600km on a 20-minute charge, which insideevs estimates would require a capacity of around 300 kWh.

Its 21700 standard cylindrical battery – 21mm in diameter and 70mm in height – boasts a 50% increase in capacity than its previous 18650 technology, and is expected to become the industries next-generation standard, and made a re-appearance at the show.

A new addition in the battery product line-up was also the “Low Height Cell”, aptly named as the cell’s height has been reduced by 20% – allowing EV manufacturers a more flexible use of space and potentially greater options for the design of their EV models.


Graphene Balls

However, the focus was on Samsung SDI’s new innovative battery material, featuring the curious “graphene balls.” Samsung SDI says these not only increase the energy density of cells to 400 Wh/kg but also increase the overall life cycle of the product, while charging five times faster than other materials.

By comparison, the average li-ion cells in use at present are in the region of 150-250 Wh/kg.

Samsung SDI state that the graphene-silica coating improves life-cycle and allows for five times faster charging, while the graphene ball material serves to increase capacity by up to 45%.

This material is being closely developed with SAIT, and Samsung SDI hopes that its capabilities, alongside its wide range of battery products, will afford EV manufacturers and consumers with flexibility in future EV models.

Executive Vice President of Samsung SDI, Jeong Seh-woong, spoke of the company’s commitment to leading the development of battery technology:

“We will lead the popularization of electric vehicles by developing products based on cutting-edge technology which will in an optimum manner meet the needs of our customers and the market. We will continue to lead global market as the world’s top technology company providing total solutions for EV battery applications.”

If it can deliver on its promised 400 Wh/kg in the next few years, Samsung SDI is set to bring some real competition into the space – and that should make for some very capable EVs too.


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