Tesla Confirms That It’s Working on a Battery Cell Deal With Samsung SDI for Model X

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 20

Model X Likely to be First Tesla With Battery Cells Not Solely From Panasonic

Model X Likely to be First Tesla With Battery Cells Not Solely From Panasonic

According to some information exclusive to Reuters, Tesla Motors is in the final stages of inking a battery cell deal with Samsung SDI.

We Suspect This Will be the Cell That Powers the Model X - Click to Enlarge

We Suspect This Will be the Cell That Powers the Model X – Click to Enlarge

The deal calls for Samsung SDI to begin supplying cells to Tesla when the Model X launches near the end of 2014.  It’s further believed that Samsung will supply some cells for the Tesla Gen III when its launches around 2017.

For Tesla, it’s essential that it doesn’t rely solely on Panasonic for cells in the future.  By adding Samsung SDI to the mix, Tesla will guarantee itself more supply stability.

Here’s some of that exclusive Reuters report on the topic:

Tesla’s Palo Alto based spokeswoman, Liz Jarvis-Shean, also confirmed the two firms were in discussions but noted that Tesla was in talks with other battery suppliers as well. “We continually evaluate best (battery) cells and technologies from all manufacturers,” Jarvis-Shean said. She did not elaborate.

Two individuals privy to details of the discussions between the two companies, however, described the talks as being in their final stage. They said the two companies are trying to work out certain remaining kinks in the pending contract for Samsung SDI to provide battery technology for the Model X, a more affordable electric car model Tesla is expected to add to its product offerings in 2014.

One of the sources, who is close to Samsung SDI, said the discussions are “90 percent complete.” He said Tesla and Samsung SDI have not been able to close the deal mainly because of Samsung SDI’s insistence that Tesla, as part of the deal, buy other components including touch-screens from Samsung Group.

According to the other sources, Tesla and Samsung SDI have already finished testing Samsung SDI’s battery technology. He also described the supply deal to be “close” to being finalized.

Still, a third source familiar with the discussions disputed the assertion the two companies are close to sealing the deal, saying Samsung SDI’s technology is not “as yet” competitive with battery cells made by Panasonic Corp, Tesla’s primary battery cell supplier. The description of talks being in the final stage is “not accurate,” the third source said.

Source: Reuters

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20 responses to "Tesla Confirms That It’s Working on a Battery Cell Deal With Samsung SDI for Model X"

  1. Robert says:

    2104 is about right. Keep pushing it back Elon. 🙂

    1. staff says:

      Whoops. Make that 2014 — 2104 would be a long time for Tesla to hold a deposit!

      /fixed, thanks

  2. Warren says:

    This is exciting news. A year from now I may be able to buy an SUV with the same cells I can already get for my electric assist bicycle. Now if I only had a use for an urban luxury tractor.

    http://www.withouthotair.com/c20/page_118.shtml

    1. Andrew says:

      “Urban Luxury Tractor”
      hahaha, *falls out of desk*

  3. Bloggin says:

    The Model X is a really nice looking CUV. Especially with the winged doors.

    With over 200 EV miles, it can be the daily commuter, grocery getter, haul the kids and all the stuff around, and offer enough range for weekend trips to the mountains.

  4. pjwood says:

    The floor to ceiling height of those falcon doors will knock a few people out. 7′? Anyone know?

  5. David says:

    Just wait until Samsung figures out how to copy Tesla and make their own car. They are a huge conglomerate that makes everything.

  6. James says:

    Sounds like ( according to article ) the “two individuals privy to the discussions between
    the two companies” have many of their facts wrong – For one, the Model X isn’t the
    “more affordable electric car model Tesla is expected to add to it’s offerings”, I believe they
    are speaking of the BlueStar project, with so far, has no letter designation. Also, that
    paragraph claims this offering ( car ) is due out in late 2014 – so these facts are all
    scrambled up. This makes me believe we can just throw out their observations or
    “inside info” with the bathwater.

    What this tiny slice of information “leaking” out means is- Hey, it’s been a tough week
    for Tesla and they have to get some good news out there to the stockholders – and it
    means these negotiations probably are taking place – which is good. I believe things
    would be amiss if a company like Tesla WAS NOT in constant search for better
    deals with suppliers and using competition to lower prices on the consumer side.
    Hey – battery cost and energy density is the whole ballgame in the EV/PHEV world
    these days.

    So yes – take every word here with big grains of salt – and YES we needed some
    good news to counter all the nonsense of this week.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      From re-reading the article…I think it’s Reuters who got some of the info wrong. Mainstream media tends to mix stuff up quite often. I just didn’t want to omit any of the conversations, so I quoted it directly from Reuters.

  7. James says:

    Samsung touchscreens
    wouldn’t be bad at all – their tablets may not be the absolute best, but they’re
    competitive with the likes of Apple, Google, Asus and Amazon. I don’t think Musk
    wants to be forced to use any manufacturers product lines, but it’s not an
    unreasonable bargaining chip to ask that these touchscreens be used – they’re
    state-of-the-art. Websites like CNET point out that ANY touchscreen or infotainment
    system found on even the most luxurious cars today are far worse than even the
    cheapest smartphone. So, yes – there’s lots of catching up to do. I don’t believe
    people talk about Tesla’s center screen enough – I think it needs to go 4G LTE
    and it seems as if the possibilities of what that system can do ( ala: mini laptop
    in your dash ) are endless.

    My “big idea” is for such electronics to not only coordinate with the instrument
    panel ( as many do ), but also be detachable with standardized plugs – as to
    be perennially upgradable. If you own older cars with nav systems you know
    what I’m saying…. You’re poking, prodding and arguing with the voice on your
    five year old center stack, and looking at Caddilac CUE and wishing you had
    even THAT….Then you realize your $199.00 tablet has way more capability!
    In a world of software updates, and supersonic tech shouldn’t we be able to snap
    in a more contemporary, capable device when the inbuilt, un-detachable one we paid
    $1000s for is obsolete?

    1. James says:

      In one of my cars I just ignore the voice-actuated, 2007-era unit
      and stick my smartphone in the depression in the dash where the nav
      screen is. I purchased an Otterbox-clone, rubber-clad case for the
      phone which basically pastes the thing to the enclosure ( or cupholder
      in my Toyota pickup’s dash ) without using any suction cups or doohickeys.
      It takes potholes and expansion joints on the road without falling down,
      and gives me 2012-era Google Nav/Maps, Pandora, the whole nine,
      but it looks awkward and has far too small a screen to be truly
      adequate for an eyes-on-road indash system. Why not just get the
      stripper model of, say, a Volt ( gee none is offered ) and use this or
      a 4G LTE tablet as your nav/infotainment system?

      We know the auto industry is full-rockets ahead with infotainment and
      gadgetry to get us tech-freaks to whip out our checkbooks….It’s high
      profit margin stuff for them. We don’t want the stripper with the cloth seats
      so they soak us for the package deal. I think if an automaker made a
      modular setup wherein I can plug in my own tablet or robo-laptop
      ( you know, the ones that flip backwards and play tablet? ) they would
      capture all that business. One solution would be to place an indentation
      on the console at eye level that would account for, say 90% of all 7 inch
      tablets on the market, and sell the tablets ( like Best Buy ) right in the
      showroom. Plug-and-play. This way, automakers can focus R&D into
      things that really matter – propulsion systems and safety – and not spend
      so much on nav/infotainment that will be obsolete before your lease has
      expired.

  8. Anthony says:

    Tesla better be very careful with its dealings with Samsung. From everything to cheating on smartphone benchmarks[1] to breaking legal confidentiality of super secret licensing deals[2], I don’t think Samsung is an upstanding, ethical company. Tesla should protect itself at all times.

    [1] http://www.anandtech.com/show/7384/state-of-cheating-in-android-benchmarks
    [2] http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57605858-94/court-samsung-execs-told-terms-of-secret-nokia-apple-deal/

  9. scott moore says:

    I’m sure they will need this deal now that they have publicly pantsed Panasonic.

  10. Ambulator says:

    I don’t really like the specifications on those batteries. Either they need to have better ones or those need to be very cheap.

  11. Tesla Fan says:

    an all black Model X is going to be so sick

  12. Bill Howland says:

    Hum, they give the voltage in volts and the electrical charge rate as 0,8 and list it as (C). So I assume the battery must never be fast charged faster than at a 75 minute rate, empty to full.. So, how does Supercharger use affect this battery? Assumedly, the 0.8C figure is an absolute maximum value, (i.e. battery precooled, etc)

  13. Bonaire says:

    Those cells at 2.8 Ah each and 3.75V will make for 7000 cells equalling 73500 Wh or 73.5 kWh (of course, you wouldn’t use the entire SOC). Less capacity than the model S 85 kWh pack now. So, range will be under 200 miles if you drive the Model-X hard (heavier and bigger).

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      The cell is just a guess…More options exist. Check them out here: http://www.samsungsdi.com/battery/cylindrical-rechargeable-battery.jsp

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        I remember seeing that some 4200 Ah capacity cells that are the same size exist along with rumors of a 5000 Ah capacity might be out there. I wounder when will Tesla start moving up even if’s to even a 3000 Ah capacity in that it might be able to save some weight or raise range.