Samsung Unveils Electric Bicycle Battery Pack With Range Of 62 Miles

AUG 27 2015 BY TDILLARD 54

…or, more importantly, a new “21700” cylindrical cell to replace the now fairly common 18650 cylindrical 18mm diameter and 65mm length cells.  The 21700 has 35% more energy (by volume), and Samsung is looking at applications for laptops, electric tools and the like – hoping for it to become the new standard.

Samsung announced the new format at the Eurobike 2015 show, along with 5 packs using the 21700.

Samsung pack in situ

Samsung pack in situ

Via GreenCarCongress.

Categories: Bikes


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54 Comments on "Samsung Unveils Electric Bicycle Battery Pack With Range Of 62 Miles"

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Sorry, but I don’t believe it. and one of the problems with stating range on an e-bike is that they expect you’ll be pedaling some too. I would prefer they state the range of what you could essentially hop on the bike and ride it like a motorcycle without pedaling. That removes much of the ambiguity. Honestly, I’d be surprised if an e-bike with that size of battery pack could even do half of the stated range. And I’m even a bit skeptical of 1/4 of that stated range. My guess is more in the range of 5 to 10 miles.

This was at Eurobike. The vast majority of electric bicycles being sold by major bicycle builders in Europe cannot be operated like a motorcycle without pedaling. They don’t even have a throttle. They only provide assistance to your own pedal stroke. The computer controls how much power you get, based upon your pedaling, so it is entirely possible to predict energy consumption.

The source article says it’s a 500 Wh pack, … so 100 km range is realistic.

I was incredulous but then I did some numbers. A car gets 200Wh/mile, ideally. That’s a 24x improvement in favor this bike at 500Wh/60miles. Sounds reasonable.

An average guy gives peak outputs between 100 and 300W. So, lets just wild-assed guess an average output of 40W. How long does it take to bike 60 miles? 4 hours? That’s only 160Wh. This is looking totally plausible. I’ve found new respect for the old bicycle.

(We could also change to 8 hours for the trip (7mph), meaning you’d have to be putting out 60W the whole trip to match the energy of the pack. I think it’s unlikely you’d average 60W unless the terrain sucked.)

7 mph is like pedalling to steep hill, flat wind neutral speed of 20kmh is easy

100km range is good even if it is only at 10kmh it is all a help.

There are legal problems with that. If you have a throttle there are issues whether it is a bicycle or a motorcycle. Therefore licensing issues arise. Pedal assist E-bikes don’t have that problem as you have to ride it as a bicycle to get motor assistance. You still have top speed issues where at some speed usually around 16 to 20 MPH the assistance has to stop. This varies an local.

Existing eBikes already go over 20 miles!

Existing Ebikes already go over 50 miles. Let’s face it, the guy doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about.

Whoa. You’re very pessimistic, aren’t you? Let’s put things into perspective. The ebike I currently use DOES have a throttle, and I know for a fact I can get 25 miles out of it if I ride it hard, and 30 miles if I ride it moderately. It’s a 54-kilogram beast capable of speeds above 80 kph so essentially it’s more of a motorcycle. 18650 cells are TWICE the volumetric density (wh/kg) of the cells my bike currently use, and the pack size is roughly half. The net result should be that the pack featured in this article can do 25-35 miles. Here’s where things change a little: Any EU-legal e-bike must be pedalled to provide assistance. On top of this, your typical e-bike is a LOT lighter than my bike; more than half the weight and then some. A legal ebike is also speed limited, in the US it’s 20 mph. In the EU it’s mostly 15.5 mph/25 kph but some countries differ slightly. If I were to ride my bike at those speeds, I could get 40-50 miles of range out of it, not 25-35. So, in short, with a lower maximum speed, lighter gross weight and mandatory… Read more »

Anti-See Through said:

“Let’s put things into perspective. The ebike I currently use DOES have a throttle, and I know for a fact I can get 25 miles out of it if I ride it hard, and 30 miles if I ride it moderately.”

Thank you.

Yeah, that was a pretty uninformed post above. In fact, one of the current articles here at Inside EVs shows a skateboard EV with a claimed range up to 10 miles, despite its very limited battery space! (link below)

62 miles of range is probably optimistic, but it’s certainly not out of the ballpark of what’s possible for an e-bike with a moderately sized battery pack. The claim upstream of maximum “range of 5 to 10 miles”, for an e-bike, is uninformed.

Samsung angling to become a Tesla supplier?

Tesla has a agreement with Panasonic in the Gigafactory already with Tesla only owning the Land and building nothing inside. Seeing they have the best batteries for their cars I dont see that changing for a while.

close, there will be sections of the factory that are owned by Panasonic and sections that are owned by Tesla.

Think of the division between raw materials, cells, and packs.

Tesla will definitely own the part that makes packs.

Panasonic will definitely own the part that makes cells.

I’m not sure how the dividing lines work for the raw materials processing, storage, logistics, infrastructure, office space and other such parts of a large plant that may not fit specifically into only one category but I’m going to assume if it isn’t specifically for cell production it is Tesla’s not Panasonic’s.

You’re correct Tesla will make the packs.

-From Tesla’s Site
According to the agreement, Tesla will prepare, provide and manage the land, buildings and utilities. Panasonic will manufacture and supply cylindrical lithium-ion cells and invest in the associated equipment, machinery, and other manufacturing tools based on their mutual approval. A network of supplier partners is planned to produce the required precursor materials. Tesla will take the cells and other components to assemble battery modules and packs.

Panasonic will own their own equipment to make cells and hire their own employees.

They will not own any land or building or part of building. They will lease from Tesla.

Tesla will own the entire GF. Lease to Panasonic and Panasonic suppliers that process raw materials into cell components.

Tesla will own and operate battery pack equipment.

I bet Tesla gave Samsung the dimensions required for becoming a supplier and Samsung ran with it. Panasonic may not be very happy about this.

Actually I would bet the cells are different sizes as the model number 18650 would appear to indicate cell dimensions…
18650 = 18mm x 650mm
21700 = 21mm x 700mm if the naming standard is adherred.

The “21700” cell is a bit larger than Elon has said Tesla was targeting for the Model 3. Many quarterly conferences ago (Q2 2014), Elon said that they would seek to improve the battery pack energy efficiency by increasing the diameter 10% and the length 10%. This would result in roughly 30% increase in energy per cell, but would also be more space efficient in the battery pack.

From a 18650 cell to a 21700 cell is a 16.7% increase in diameter, and a 8% increase in length. The overall volume of the cell is increased by 46%. So this is higher than what Elon forecasted.

Q2 ’14 conference call cued to the point of the question:

Thx, I was looking for that!

1,16 x 1,08 = 1,25 so that is 25% higher volume. However you can put less of those cells in a same pack volume.

Oops friday night mistake!
1,16 square so 46 % is correct.

Tesla was planning the 20700 size for Model 3. But they may change their mind … As they often do when they see any improvements.
They saw the Boeing Dreamliner having trouble with too large cells, so they keep them relatively small.

The cells used in the Boeing Dreamliner were much larger block-shaped “prismatic” cells, and Elon posted (Tweeted?) about that, offering Boeing help with designing a proper battery thermal management system.

The Dreamliner fires are not going to affect Tesla’s plans.

Schematic of the Dreamliner battery pack:

Actually it’s 18 mm x 65 mm with the final 0 indicating it’s a cylindrical cell. 21700s are presumably 21 mm diameter, 70 mm length, cylindrical. Are we sure it’s 35% more energy “by volume”?

There’s also the question of whether “volume” means total volume, or interior volume. Scaling up the battery may affect the can (casing) volume more than the interior, or vice versa.

Bottom line: We don’t know the precise dimensions of the cells the Gigafactory will be making, and Elon’s comment about “10% larger in all dimensions” cells may have been a ballpark figure. So it’s possible these Samsung cells are the same size the Gigafactory will be producing… and it’s possible they’re not.

I bet they are not 650mm long. I think it is rather 65.0mm 😉

650 mm long would mean laying them horizontal instead of vertical.
It would be interesting to make a geometrical analysis to see what would make the highest cell volume in the box under the car horizontal long cylinders or vertical short cylinders.

Full Li-ION Rechargeable Sizes and Specs here:

Such Cells are not ‘700’ mm long – nor are ‘18650’ cells 650 mm long!

Also see:—made-in-china—un38-3-passed-0-66.aspx for additional Cell info on 18650’s!

Josh said:

“I bet Tesla gave Samsung the dimensions required for becoming a supplier and Samsung ran with it. Panasonic may not be very happy about this.”

That’s quite possible. Apparently Tesla talked to Samsung twice about possibly providing a supplemental battery cell supply, since Tesla was having trouble getting Panasonic to ramp up fast enough. In fact, according to one report (link below), Tesla actually did make a deal with Samsung for a cell supply for the Model X… altho I question that deal actually got signed.

No, Panasonic is almost certainly not happy about that. It appeared to be a case of Tesla pressuring Panasonic into increasing its output, and doing so in a rather public way.

Given the size of the people in China that I saw driving e-bikes, I don’t doubt they can go that far. Me, I was struggling to get going on the e-bike I rented from the hotel I was staying in, and the regular folks (thousands of them on the roads by the way) blew by me, including an entire family on the handle bars of one bike… The way to get high volume in battery production is to sell better batteries to e-bike consumers in China, there are tens of millions of customers for this, and that means the new larger format will get well tested before they get put into EV’s.

If there really are 30 cells to a pack, and using the specifications given, and further seeing that a 18650 cell can have 11 Wh, I get that a battery pack could be 650 Wh. If it takes 100 W to go 10 mph then that will get you 65 miles. This is being excessively optimistic.

If you are large, or want to go faster, or if they are basing their capacity from a 9 Wh 18650, then you won’t go as far.

The closest reference would be cycling data that show that an estimated 100 watts of power is needed to move you and the bike at 21 km/h (13mph)average.
This e-bike being a bit heavier, 10 mph seems doable with 100 W.

But then 30 x 11 Wh= 330 Wh total.
So some capacity is missing to get 65 miles.

30 cells per pack, but it states the bike had 5 “packs”. Also the capacity is at least 35% more than a 18650.

So 30 cells x 5 pack x 11 wH x 1.35% = 2.22 kWh.

I read that as unveiled 5 different packs, not a large pack with 5 modules.

500 Wh / 62 miles gives only 8 Wh/mile, which is very light assist. More typical riding is likely to see 15-20 miles of range.

The youtube video is from June 2014, I wouldn’t get hung upon it depicting the larger cell packs Samsung is talking about.

No. 8 Wh/mile is moderate assist. 60 miles from a 500 Wh pack IS realistic. Normal use, normal speed 60 miles isn’t going to be a problem.

15 to 20 miles would be ridiculously low for a pack that size.


“But then 30 x 11 Wh= 330 Wh total.”

That would be with good 18650 cells. The 21700 cells are 46.5% larger, and we are told these are 35% better in energy density.

From GreenCarCongress: “In response, Samsung SDI has come up with a battery that has upgraded a maximum of 35% of energy volume, now known as the 21700 battery…”

That sounds like they only increased the volume by 35%, although it’s worded poorly. If they followed the naming convention it really should be 46.5% larger. However, given that they directly said 500Wh there, that’s good enough.

Samsung is a secondary supplier to Tesla. The new cell design was optimized for the model 3.

“Samsung is a secondary supplier to Tesla.”

I don’t think that’s correct. While Panasonic is not locked in as the sole supplier to Tesla, there is no evidence that Samsung provides anything for current production Tesla automobiles. Besides, Panasonic is under contract to provide more cells than Tesla currently needs up through 2016.

“The new cell design was optimized for the model 3.”
Nothing “official” exists, but the strong rumor is for a 20700, not a 21700 which is what Samsung is showing here.

Typically a company can’t “own” a battery format, so there is nothing stopping Panasonic from making a similar battery in the same dimensions. They could even use the upcoming Gigafactory to build a larger format battery if they wanted to.

What I’m not seeing is any actual new technology being offered by Samsung, like a new anode material, or a new electrolyte, etc that could be exclusive to Samsung.

What do you expect? It is an electric vehicle. It gets 62 miles the same way Nissan got 100 miles on the Leaf.

I pedal my butt off, and get 100 miles from a 1.1 kWh pack. That is why my new bike has a 2.9 kWh pack. 🙂

Talking about range on a hybrid human/electric bicycle is pointless. With a bicycle, unlike a car, you have the option of slowing down. At 12 mph I can ride from sunup to sundown using zero assist. Riding with normal effort and some assist at 16-18 mph my 1.1 kWh battery lasts 120 miles. Doing the same at 25 mph gets 60 miles.

You posted exactly what was on my mind. Generally I use the motor for hill boost and zero-grade “cruise” over 12 mph. I can easily keep up with my veteran pedal-only comrades for an all-day tour with capacity to spare in a homebrewed 48v 30Ah pack. That entails what you are calling “normal effort”, meaning that to an observer it would seem like I’m doing a lot of work, but I’m letting the motor take care of the hard stuff. 12mph is actually about as good an average pace for long distances that most casual, occasional pedalers can maintain for several hours. If I hold to that, only the tiniest amount of perspiration-free pedaling gets me over 100mi with confidence. For a commuter on a sturdy bike and no desire to break a sweat, 500Wh would get you 10-12mi to work and back without a need to charge in the office, more if the ride is flat. The average China ebike rider gets by with far less stored energy in a chunky SLA package. Most of the available Li ebike packs are LiFePO, and of those many are poorly assembled and of inconsistent quality. Having an industrial “major” building and… Read more »

Samsung NMC cells are already used in the best packs you can buy…and for $800 a kWh.

I guarantee he will be using these new cells soon. Samsung built packs will only go to big OEMs, and cost twice as much per kWh, just as they do now.

“The 21700 model can have various applications other than e-bike, such as in electric tools, laptops, and more. It is expected to become the new standard in small cylindrical battery usage.”

From: – but notice the: ‘and more’ – so they don’t say they are for, and they don’t say they are not for – Electric Vehicles!

Even More – “It is expected to become the new standard in small cylindrical battery usage” is pretty suggestive of new applications beyond classical applications – like maybe – Electric Vehicles!

However – the article also says: “JaeHo Ahn, executive vice president & head of battery pack business division of Samsung SDI commented earlier that, “Samsung SDI’s high capacity battery packs will dramatically increase the mileage of electric bicycles and this will create new demands in the e-bike industry.” He added, “As the No.1 company of small scale-batteries, we will continue to build up the market for new battery application.””

I checked this and the next one up is 25500, so maybe they really did have room for yet another format there. Maybe.

I love it.
It has a nice ring.
It’s the next thing!!

For lots of info on electric bike batteries and how far they can go, have a look at the u-tube channel of Rinoa Super Genius:
He has a recent video testing his trike by riding 2000′ up a hill:

Maybe this is a wrong friday night thinking but has anybody ever though of an hexagonal battery for optimum packing and cooling? If you take a honey comb, it packs as much as cubic but in the same time it is feasible for the battery layers to follow that lower angle bending. Hexagonal has the advantage on cylindrical that cooling sections between cells are constant instead of going from too narrow to excessively wide in a cylindrical system.

62 miles.. at 15mph.

500whrs will do 25 miles at 25mph ( a more realistic ebike speed for the united states ), maybe 35-40 miles at 20mph ( legal usa limit ).

That’s still not too bad for the space it fits in.