Samsung SDI: From 130 Wh/kg to 250 Wh/kg By 2019 and 300 Wh/kg in ≈2020

JUL 21 2014 BY MARK KANE 23

Samsung SDI: Our Next Technology Roadmap

Samsung SDI: Our Next Technology Roadmap

Samsung SDI battery cells

Samsung SDI battery cells

Samsung SDI, sole supplier of lithium-ion battery cells for BMW i electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, presents on its website “Next Technology Roadmap.”

We see that the  Korean manufacturer would like to increase energy density of its Nickel-cobalt-manganese cells from 130 Wh/kg to 250 Wh/kg somewhere in 2019. Such an increase could really help in the introduction of longer range electric cars.

For example, i3 could, without too much redesign, go in all-electric mode as far as the REx version can travel today (on electric + gas).

Interesting is that Samsung SDI is also developing Li-Air Fuel Cells, which in around 2020 could store 300 Wh/kg, but with similar performances available from batteries and charging infrastructure more widely available, we believe that in 2020 it will be hard to successfully introduce fuel cell vehicles on the market.

Categories: Battery Tech


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23 Comments on "Samsung SDI: From 130 Wh/kg to 250 Wh/kg By 2019 and 300 Wh/kg in ≈2020"

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Tesla is going to have a 500 mile range soon. That soon does not mean 2020.

Suprise Cat

…in a 100000 € car…wayne


For that money you will get 800km per charge and it will be free to charge it for LIFE. Thus you can run down the autobahn at speeds over 220 km/h for at least 600 km just like any V8 BMW etc. And you will get to charge it in less time than you can empty your bladder and eat a sandwich! But most importantly neither my son nor your son will get killed for oil. I would say it is a very good deal.

David Murray

While it would be great to have smaller batteries, the more pressing issue has to be cost. A properly designed EV can always accommodate enough batteries.


Energy density affects cost as well. Adding enough battery cells to build a 200+ mile EV results in a grossly overweight car like the Model S which has to have a heavier and more costly suspension, brakes, body structure, etc., to handle its heavy battery pack.

Jouni Valkonen

Tesla Model S is not overweight. It weights 2100 kg where as its similarly sized competitors weight about the same. BMW M5 weights 2000 kg, Mercedes S class weights 2200 kg and Porsche Panamera about 2100 kg.

The Tesla battery weights only 550 kg. It is not significantly heavier than powerful ICE, automatic gearbox, AWD and full tank of gasoline. Electric cars has perhaps at most 200 kg weight penalty, but Model S regains this with all aluminium construction.


BMW doesn’t need better batteries to get the i3 BEV to Rex range. The car has a worst CdA than a Prius. Simply matching the old Honda Insight’s CdA would improve range by over 25%!


Is it proper to state that a fuel cell “could store 300 Wh/kg”? A fuel cell isn’t an energy storage device; it produces energy. So is Samsung stating that its fuel cell could produce 300 w/kg?




Fuel Cell or FLOW Cell?
nanoflowcell dot com


Therefore they are not looking at Tesla’s NCA level of specific energy (250-260 Wh/kg) until 2019 at the earliest?

Combine that with apparent problem developing high voltage NCM, it looks like advanced NCM is far more delayed than the industry expected:


VW is also using Panasonic’s, although not in 18650 format, and they are currently getting 170Wh/kg at the cell level:

Anyone know why there should be such a big difference?
And the E-Golf loses still more as for the Tesla’s 600kg pack 85kwh gives you a pack level density of 140wh/kg, whilst the E-Golf gets 76Whkg for its 318kg pack, which is 45% compared to the Tesla’s 53%

Pgs 17 & 18

And the Tesla pack at 85kwh and 600kgs is 140Wh/kg at the pack level.

My understanding is that they were currently at around the 200Wh/kg for the 18650 at the cell level


“Anyone know why there should be such a big difference?”
If I had to take a guess it is because they are designing for a smaller capacity pack with air cooling, so they needed a cell with higher C-rate and better thermal stability, which means they can’t pick the most energy dense cells (like Tesla did with the NCA cells). In the end VW picked the NMC chemistry, which is more stable (and allowed VW to do away with liquid cooling) but less energy dense.

At the cell level, Panasonic is at 243Wh/kg for the NCR18650B (3400mAh cells similar in capacity to what Tesla is using):


2 or 3 months ago Elon Musk said they are at 260 Wh/kg at cell level.


Almost forgot to mention. If they are like pretty much all the other auto manufacturers, VW would greatly prefer large format cells. And given the Panasonic doesn’t make the NCA chemistry in large format (likely for thermal stability reasons), VW can’t choose the same chemistry as Tesla anyways.

Electric Car Guest Drive

I am surprised these numbers are not higher. Panasonic is at 230 Wh/kg now.




Maybe the one (Panasonic) is talking about cell level and the other (Samsung SDI) is talking about pack level?

Jouni Valkonen

No, Samsung is talking on cell level energy density. Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese batteries has just lower energy density than with Panasonic’s Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminium batteries. The upshot is that Samsung’s NCM batteries are more stable than Panasonic’s NCA batteries so the fire hazard is smaller. But as Tesla has demonstrated that fires are certainly possible, but they are rare and less violent than e.g. gasoline fires.

Suprise Cat

There will be no 100000000% breakthrough battery in 2 years.

Samsung just says, what reality is.


Kia Soul have 200 wh/kg, Leaf 120 Wh/kg. So in three years double. Carlo Ghosn says until 2017 he wants double, so 240Wh/kg. That would be 48 KWh in Leaf 2. Hope so…

Suprise Cat

The KIA Soul EV does not use a battery, that was developed in the last three years. The polymer batteries have always been lighter, than other types of lithium batteries.


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