Samsung SDI is reportedly setting up a new pilot production line to build 4680 battery cells for Tesla. It will be the third automaker to attempt a volume contract to supply Tesla with the new battery cell format.
from Korea The Electric reports that the Korean manufacturing giant is preparing the new battery cell production line at its factory in Cheonan, South Korea:
Samsung SDI was preparing a pilot line at its Cheonan plant in South Korea to test the batteries it will supply to Tesla, TheElec has learned.
The batteries are cylindrical 4680 batteries (46mm in diameter, 80mm in length) and the South Korean battery company will verify the technology within a year, sources said.
Interestingly, the publication also reports that Samsung SDI also plans to test production of a similar but slightly shorter battery cell for BMW.
Samsung is aiming for the new production line to have a capacity of just under 1 GWh, but it will significantly increase production if successful, as Tesla has made it clear that it will purchase all available viable battery cells.
Tesla manufactures its own 4680 battery cells, but the automaker has little experience producing cells and has had problems ramping up production.
The company plans to rely on both its own production and supply from established manufacturers to produce the new 4680 format to support its production ramp-up and upcoming new vehicle programs like the Cybertruck.
Panasonic is considered the most advanced in supplying the battery to Tesla with volume production expected next year.
LG Energy Solutions also recently invested $450 million in the production of Tesla’s 4680 battery cell.
Samsung’s timeline is unclear, but The Electric reports that once pilot production is established in Korea, the company is expected to start producing the new cell at a plant with between 8 and 12 GWh of annual production capacity in Seremban, Malaysia.
The company is said to have ordered manufacturing equipment similar to that of Tesla from Hanwha and Koem for the production of the battery cells.
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