Samsung SDI has unveiled a new battery cell designed to help speed up fast charging in new electric cars with longer range.
The Korean battery maker announced Monday at the Detroit auto show that it plans to manufacture a battery cell that can have an 80-percent charge within 20 minutes for electric vehicles capable of traveling long range. The company’s release said it plans to manufacture a “high-energy density battery cell of the next generation for a driving range of up to 600 km that can fast charge EVs in 20 minutes.”
According to Yongdoo Shin, assistant manager for Samsung SDI communications, the range estimates quoted are for the U.S. EPA test cycle.
The new Samsung SDI battery cell technology won’t be available until 2021. There won’t be any new all-electric vehicles with 600 kilometers (about 373 miles) of range coming out next year, but there may be a few by 2021.
Otherwise, automakers such as Volkswagen have been displaying concept cars with longer range potentially coming out by 2021. Fast charging voltage and charge rates will be going up in the near future, as well, and EV battery packs will be storing more energy for these next-generation electric cars.
The Samsung SDI release also doesn’t clarify how its lithium ion battery cells will achieve more energy density and range, but it does address the longer time that upcoming electric cars will need to recharge their batteries. As EVs such as the Chevy Bolt, the new Renault ZOE, and the upcoming Tesla Model 3 come to market, there is more concern about how long fast charging these energy-intensive batteries will take.
The Detroit product launch also included an “integrated battery module” concept that Samsung SDI said will offer a 10-percent decrease in component units and weight compared to the currently produced models on the market.
Conventional EV batteries on the market usually have 12 cells with a 2-to-3 kWh capacity, the company said. Samsung SDI’s new battery technology will have a more than 24 cells with a higher capacity of 6-to-8 kWh.
That capacity increase will come from an advanced electro-mechanical design. It will make for “an adequate module in the full-fledged high-capacity EV era.”
Samsung SDI, a division of the large South Korean electronics company, has chosen EV battery cells as a growth market. Last year, the company decided to exit the fuel cell market and to invest in a battery plant in Hungary to tap into the growing European EV market.
The Korean company will be providing battery cells to the Lucid Motors startup, and an upcoming Audi e-tron SUV; which could be the Audi Q8 that’s on display at the Detroit auto show.