Audi Selects LG Chem & Samsung SDI As Battery Suppliers For Long-Range Electric SUV

AUG 13 2015 BY MARK KANE 18

Samsung SDI battery cells

Samsung SDI battery cells

Audi today released an important announcement on battery suppliers for its all-electric SUV with more than 500 km (310 miles) range NEDC. We expect to see the concept version of this SUV at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

There will be two battery suppliers – LG Chem and Samsung SDI.

And for the very first time, lithium-ion battery cells for Audi will be produced in Europe.

Bringing cell production to Europe must mean that Audi expects high-volume, at least high enough to produce cells locally.

“Audi will develop the battery for a purely electrically powered sport utility vehicle on the basis of powerful cell modules from the South Korean suppliers LG Chem and Samsung SDI. The two Audi partners plan to invest in the cell technology in Europe and will supply the Ingolstadt-based car producer from their European plants. The new technology will give drivers of the Audi sport utility vehicle a range of more than 500 kilometers.”

Dr. Bernd Martens, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Procurement stated:

“Together with our South Korean development partners, we are bringing production of the latest battery‑cell technology to the EU and strengthening European industry with this key technology,”. The cell modules are to offer particularly high performance. “This will allow us to supply a technological solution that makes electric cars even more attractive for our customers.”

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG for Development said:

“With our first battery‑electric Audi‑SUV, we are combining an emission‑free drive system with driving pleasure. “We will optimally integrate the innovative cell modules developed with LG Chem and Samsung SDI into our vehicle architecture, thus achieving an attractive overall package of sportiness and range.”

The first question that arises is why are there two battery cell suppliers for one electric SUV? Whether LG Chem and Samsung SDI will develop and produce cells jointly or one of the two will fade at later stage of the race is unknown? Or maybe there will be two battery-sizes available, one consisting of cells from one company, and the second consisting of cells from the other company? Or maybe there will be more than one model, not yet announced?  Lots of questions…few answers.

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18 Comments on "Audi Selects LG Chem & Samsung SDI As Battery Suppliers For Long-Range Electric SUV"

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I would expect a low end price of $70,000 to complete with the Tesla Model X. The Ford F-150 Platnum sells for about $70,000, maybe these all electric SUV offerings will get some truck buyers to look seriously at EVs.

In about two years everybody will want cells from LG Chem. Great planimg to not rely on one manufacturer if you plan to go in volume. Also BMW may support Samsungs plans for Europe.

Just what I was thinking. With all the EV makers wanting LG Chem’s new (and I assume, cheaper per kWh) cells, it would be smart of any auto maker which wants to avoid having its production constrained by battery supply, to develop a secondary supplier.

I think that the most important question is that the announced cells are in 18650 size? (That means that LG and Samsung already have fully comparable cells to Panasonic ones = but it is nothing special in battery technology progress).

Or if they finally managed breakthrough in pouch cell format technology and they already have pouch cells with specific energy density comparable to 18650 format = Yes this would be a significant progress.

Audi won’t use 18650.
I wonder how Audi will use both pouch and can cells together.
Audi would make a module that use both type cells. Or one model for one type cell.

You’re right. Audi is using cylindrical cells.
But LG Chem & Samsung SDI won’t supply cylindrical cells to Audi.
They’ll supply pouch & can cells, respectively.

In fact it is not clear who is Audi R8 e-tron 18650 size cell supplier. I have heard something about Samsung SDI.

I too believe, that Audi and other BEV manufacturers really wants to use big pouch or prismatic cells, but till today nobody heard about this kind of cells which could approach the 18650 size cells specific energy.

Funny that this vaporware is announced Just before the release of Model X

Actually, the past two years have been “just before the release of Model X,” since its release has been constantly pushed back numerous times.

– “In the 3000…..”
– “Tesla will announce deliveries of the Model X will start next quarter, and the Model 3 concept will be revealed shortly thereafter.”

“In the year 3000…”

Actual battery suppliers…so this all electric long range SUV is going to be more than just a press release?

OTOH: the supplier thing is also just a press release of course.

Know what I think? Range will come from LG cells, whilst “sportiness” will come from Samsung SDI. The two have slightly different approaches to design and chemistry. Have both in the same car available on-the-fly/ at will. and you have the ultimate EV. Speculation of course.

will LG Chem supply all the (non-Tesla) automotive manufacturers?

They got US BIG 3 and premium 3.

Apparently everyone except Tesla and BYD, both of which have or will have their own battery cell manufacturing plants.

Heck, even Nissan appears to be turning to LG Chem, and they do have their own factories. But they have made a deal with LG Chem, possibly for licensing LG Chem’s tech. So perhaps Nissan will start making cells with the same chemistry in their own battery cell factories within a few years.

Well model x arrives next month (only weeks from now). They have lot of catching up to do. Not to mention; yep we have long range battery. To bad we don’t have chargers…