While Tesla is certainly leading the way in increasing the global battery production capacity with its 150 GWh ‘Gigafactory’ in Nevada, some established battery manufacturers are also increasing their capacity. Now Samsung SDI announced its own large battery factory in Hungary.
We can technically call it a ‘Gigafactory’ since it actually has a planned production in the gigawatt-hours. The Korean battery maker didn’t confirm the exact planned output, but it claims an “annual capacity of batteries for 50,000 pure electric vehicles”.
At an average of 50 kWh per vehicle, it would add up to ~2.5 GWh of capacity. It’s nowhere near Tesla’s planned output, but it’s a significant increase in what Samsung says will be a short period of time.
The company says that the plant will start operations in the second half of 2018.
They released this rendering of the plant and shared a picture of the pouch cells they plan to produce at the plant:
It will be built from existing facilities previously used for display production located in Geod, Hungary – at a distance of 25 kilometers north of Budapest in a site area of about 330,000 square meters (3.5 million sq-ft).
The plant will serve European automotive manufacturers in Central and Eastern Europe. Jeong SehWoong, Executive Vice President & Head of Automotive & ESS Business division, said on the announcement:
“By launching construction for the plant in Hungary, we now can set up the global triangular production structure for electric vehicle batteries. We can especially provide higher quality services to European customers in Europe by generating synergy with SDIBS.”
Samsung SDI says it will invest 400 billion Won ($358 million USD) in the new facility.
Separately, it was reported earlier this year that Tesla started taking delivery of important quantities of battery cells from Samsung SDI. The automaker later said that the cells will be used for its ‘Tesla Energy’ products and not its vehicles.