Most established automakers, like Nissan with the LEAF or even GM with the more recent Chevy Bolt EV, have been using large prismatic cells to build their electric vehicle battery packs.
Tesla pioneered a different approach using thousands of individual smaller cylindrical li-ion battery cells in each pack.
As we previously reported, Tesla’s battery strategy is inspiring new electric vehicle startups, but not legacy automakers.
Established automakers haven’t made the change yet, but some of those startups have worked with some battery manufacturers, like LG Chem and Samsung SDI, to build new cylindrical cells for automotive solutions.
Tesla’s latest battery cell in the Model 3 is a new ‘2170’ format built by Panasonic at Tesla’s Gigafactory.
Earlier this year, Samsung unveiled its own ‘2170’ battery cell to compete with Tesla/Panasonic.
Now they are claiming that they can reach an impressive energy density by using those cells in new modules:
“Multifunctional battery pack" of Samsung SDI attracted the most attention. Its users can change the number of modules as they want as if they place books on a shelf. For example, if 20 modules are installed in a premium car, it can go 600 to 700 kilometers. If 10 to 12 modules are mounted on a regular sedan, it can run up to 300 kilometers. This pack is expected to catch the eyes of automakers, because they can design a car whose mileage may vary depending on how many modules of a single pack are installed.
Unfortunately, they didn’t release many specs beyond that.