Tesla says its new 4680 battery cell, unveiled at the 2020 Battery Day event, represents a “massive breakthrough” that could enable a new generation of cheaper EVs. However, some industry experts have predicted that mass-producing the new cells will not be easy.
Concurrently with developing the new cells, Tesla has been broadening its battery supply chain, bringing new cell suppliers into the mix. Will competition among cell manufacturers help to overcome the challenges of scaling up to mass production? Both Panasonic and LG have been working on the 4680 cells, and now the Korea Herald reports that Samsung SDI wants to get in on the action.
An anonymous industry official told the Herald that both Samsung and LG have developed sample 4680 cells, and are currently conducting tests to verify structural integrity.
In March, Samsung SDI CEO Jun Young-hyun told the Korea Herald that his company was developing a cylindrical cell larger than its existing 2170 model, but offered no details. In April, we learned that Samsung is working with Hyundai to develop a new-format cell—larger than 2170, but smaller than 4680—specifically for hybrid vehicles.
The 4680 cell, with its higher energy density, is believed to be an essential enabling technology for some of Tesla’s upcoming vehicles. Elon Musk has said that it will be critical for producing the Tesla Semi.
Source: Green Car Reports