Photo courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
Samsung SDI and LG Energy Solution have completed the development of 4680 battery cells presented by Tesla in 2020, sources said. Companies are fighting to win a contract from the innovative leader in the electric vehicle industry.
On July 13, a source of The Korea Herald reported that Samsung SDI and LG Energy Solution have completed the development of samples of the larger, more powerful 4680 battery cells and are now testing them. “Samsung SDI and LG Energy Solution have developed samples of cylindrical 4680 cells and are currently conducting various tests at their facilities to verify their structural integrity. Also, they have provided specifications of their 4680 cells to their vendors,” a high-ranking industry official with knowledge of the matter told the agency.
In March, The Korea Herald already received information from Samsung SDI President and CEO Jun Young-Hyun that the company is developing a new cylindrical cell larger than its existing 2170. However, it declined to confirm its exact specifications. In April, it was revealed that Samsung SDI and Hyundai Motor are jointly developing next-generation cylindrical cells larger than 2170 but less than 4680 cells, so it is possible that Young-Hyun was talking about them back in March.
However, industry officials say Samsung SDI has the opportunity to join Tesla's existing battery cell suppliers. The company is currently planning to build its first battery manufacturing plant in the United States, and working with Tesla to supply 4680 battery cells would greatly aid Samsung's development.
LG Energy Solution also hinted at the development of 4680 cells during the Earnings Call in October 2020, but has denied completing a prototype later. In February 2021, local brokerage firm Meritz Securities announced that LG Energy Solution “completed the world’s first mass-production of 4680 cells and supplied them to its clients.” In March it became known that the company plans to produce 4680 cells in 2023. For this, the manufacturer is considering building factories in the USA or Europe.
At the moment, Tesla has not signed a deal with anyone for the supply of 4680 battery cells and is actively developing them on its own.
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