Samsung SDI, which has been more passive than its competitors, is driving the battery business. It plans to secure large customers through next-generation cylindrical batteries.
According to the industry on the 28th, Samsung SDI is building a cylindrical battery pilot line with a diameter of 46 millimeters (mm) at its Cheonan plant in South Chungcheong Province. Manufacturing facilities are expected to be brought in as early as the third quarter.
Until now, Samsung SDI has mainly produced prismatic batteries for electric vehicles. Although it supplied cylindrical batteries to Volvo and Rivian, there was not much volume. The cylindrical shape was mainly used for information technology (IT) devices such as power tools.
The current mood is quite different. It is interpreted that Samsung SDI also changed its business strategy when it started with Tesla, the No.
Samsung SDI is developing the next version of the existing 2170 cylindrical battery (diameter 21mm, height 70mm). The diameter of the next work was confirmed to be 46mm. The height is under review at around 80mm.
The 4680 cylindrical battery is the next-generation battery standard set by Tesla. Previously, Tesla announced that the 4680 product is expected to improve ▲ capacity 5 times ▲ output 6 times ▲ mileage 16% compared to the 2170. Accordingly, Japan’s main partners, Panasonic and LG Energy Solutions, are in the midst of developing the 4680 cylindrical battery. It is expected to be commercialized next year.
In this situation, Samsung SDI participated in the war. Although the schedule is later than the two companies, it is calculated that once the standard is changed, it is maintained for several years, so it is worth competing in the long term.
The fact that BMW, a major customer, formalized the application of cylindrical batteries also had an impact. Last month, BMW was reported to have signed a cylindrical battery supply contract with CATL of China. Samsung SDI only supplied prismatic batteries to BMW. It is believed that Samsung SDI is currently discussing the height of the next-generation cylindrical battery with BMW. It is rumored that there was also a related talk with Hyundai Motor, where there was no transaction.
Samsung SDI will produce a sample of a cylindrical battery with a diameter of 46 mm by the first half of next year, and then start building an official line. Domestic equipment suppliers are preparing according to the schedule. The production line is planned to be set up in Seremban, Malaysia, where the existing business site is located. The scale is said to be around 10 gigawatt hours (GWh). It is comparable to the factories that Panasonic and LG Energy Solutions are establishing in Wakayama, Japan (10GWh) and Ochang (9GWh) in Korea, respectively. The industry predicts that Samsung SDI will start mass production around 2025.
Meanwhile, Samsung SDI uses nickel/cobalt/aluminum (NCA) cathode materials for its next-generation cylindrical batteries. From 2024, gen 6 batteries with 91% nickel content will be commercialized. It coincides with the production of a 46mm diameter cylindrical battery. Panasonic, NCA, and LG Energy Solutions use nickel, cobalt, manganese, and aluminum (NCMA) cathode materials.