Samsung SDI to Open Lithium-Ion Battery Cell Factory in China in 2015


Battery maker Samsung SDI has signed a deal that will results in the South Korean firm establishing a lithium-ion cell factory in China.

Terms of the deal are scarce at the moment, but we do know that Samsung intends to break ground on the factory in the city of Xi’an later this year and that it should be operational sometime in 2015.

As Reuters reports:

“Samsung SDI, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, will form a joint venture in China by April to invest $600 million in the factory in Shaanxi province and in other electric car battery-related businesses over the next five years.”

“The joint venture will consist of Chinese parts maker Anqing Ring New Group and a company owned by the government of Shaanxi province.”

Samsung SDI Manufactures Several Lithium-Ion Cells, Including This 18650 One

Samsung SDI Manufactures Several Lithium-Ion Cells, Including This 18650 One

According to Reuters, Samsung’s Chinese factory could “cater for current customer BMW as well as car makers such as Volkswagen AG who are rushing into electric cars in China.”

Let us not forget that Tesla has some sort of deal with Samsung SDI reportedly in the works.  It’s not out of the question to think that Samsung setting up a li-ion cell factory in China could by linked to Tesla’s launch of the Model S in China and perhaps even Tesla establishing a future produciton site in China.

Source: Reuters

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12 Comments on "Samsung SDI to Open Lithium-Ion Battery Cell Factory in China in 2015"

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That’s a pretty high capacity for a Lion battery no? A typical cellphone battery is 2100mah.

The cell shown is 219 Wh/kg. Tesla uses more like 250 Wh/kg.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Meh, wake me at >4Ah @ 3.6V or better…

But I think that’s part of the message. No “breakthrough” tech is evidently scaring SDI from going forward. Unless Tesla is the lion’s share of output, it puts another punctuation mark in lithium’s viability. It also gives standard format cells a vote against the notion that large format cells (and their R&D) can compete. Eric is astute to point out that “buy from” and “sell to” China policies may have been part of a Tesla commitment to this plant.

Great… another pollution-spewing, exploitation-labor factory in China making products for the West.

Yeah with none of those troublesome pollution controls. Doesn’t really matter, we don’t make that much in this country anyway, unless you mean Restaurant or Hotel jobs, Orderlies, etc. Not many factory jobs (where the wealth of this country was created).

Looking at the way the wind is blowing, I should perhaps learn some Mandarin.

This factory is really a corridor for outsourcing from the company’s home county if they say it’s their first factory in another county. The bottom line is that their their workers at home are way over paid and they don’t work enough hours a day and have to many breaks.

What I’m worried about if Tesla opens a factory in China it will open up a flood of outsourcing with Tesla in that they will move as many of their jobs as they can out of their California factory in till it becomes a empty sell only used for accounting reasons.

Could this be the future giga-factory?

Tesla Model-C made in China in appx 2018 would use locally sourced batteries and perhaps even make the car in China. If Model S and X sell well in china, it makes sense to attempt to make the battery pack locally in china for some sort of tax advantage and install the pack locally into cars shipped there packless.

Are other automakers going to use these cylindrical cells? Many or most appear to favor prismatic cells.

0.2C discharge rate? Is that a typo? Typically Li-Ion cells have a higher maximum discharge rate than charge rate. 0.2C of 2800mAH would only be 280mA. Tiny current capacity.

Correction. 2x280mA = 560mA. Still pretty low.


0.2C discharge rate is the rate they use to measure the stated capacity. Maximum continuous C rate for this type of cylindrical cell is usually around 2C.

Available capacity is slightly less with higher discharge current unless the current is tapered down at the low-voltage cutoff point, in which case the full capacity can be used. This is true for all li-ion batteries.

The reason between the funny discrepancy between the charge and discharge rates is that charging, by definition, always includes a CV phase during which the current is tapered down so that full charge is achieved even at higher initial current. Discharge test normally does not include this phase, so they use low discharging current to begin with; although, they could just add a CV phase to discharge, too.