Exclusive: Tesla Takes Delivery Of 1.74 Million Samsung Battery Cells
It’s come to our attention, via an April 19th 2016 bill of lading for the Port Of Oakland, that Tesla received a massive shipment of Samsung SDI ICR18650-22V lithium-ion battery cells.
The weight of the shipment is listed at 113,183 kilograms or 249,526 pounds.
This volume is far more than would be required for testing purposes, so the logical conclusion is that Tesla has indeed signed a battery cell supply deal with Samsung SDI.
Previously, we had reported that Tesla was in talks with LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovations for battery cells. It was believed that Tesla was trying to secure another battery partner (aside from Panasonic) to shore up its supply line.
It now seems that Samsung SDI was already the chosen second partner. Further confirming this is Tesla’s receipt of a much smaller (3,390 kilograms) shipment of the same Samsung SDI cells on April 6, 2016. That shipment may have been for testing purposes.
The actual cell that Tesla took delivery of is Samsung’s ICR18650-22V, which is an unknown class of cell to us (provided of course the labeling was correct to contents).
Here (below) are some specs on the SDI ICR18650-22F cell (and here’s a link to the specs for a Samsung SDI ICR18650-22P cell):
Manufacturer – SAMSUNG
Rechargeable battery type – Li-Ion
Battery size – 18650, MR18650
Rated voltage – 3.6V
Capacity – 2200mAh
Body dimensions – Ø18.25 x 65mm
Maximum current – 4.4A
Gross weight: 0.13 kg
Collective package: 2 pcs
And here’s an image of a Samsung ICR18650-22F cell:
These particular cells are typically sold in units of 2 with a listed weight of 0.13 kilograms (or 0.065 kilograms per cell). If we do some math, we find that Tesla’s purchase of 113,183 kilograms of cells equates to 1.74 million cells.
The question is, where are of all these cells going to be used? For an EV application? Tesla Energy for Powerwalls or Powerpacks? Something else entirely? Surely these cells won’t sit around waiting for the Model 3, so that’s out of the equation, but Powerwalls or Powerpacks seem to be the most likely recipients. It is fun to speculate.
Below is a description of just a few of the containers on the ship loaded with Tesla’s Samsung SDI cells.
Hat tip to BillK!