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Lucid Motors and Samsung claims ‘breakthrough’ battery cell to power upcoming all-electric sedan


Lucid Motors, formerly known as ‘Atieva’, is having an exciting couple of weeks. Last week, it announced a deal with the state of Arizona to build a $700 million electric vehicle factory, and next week it will unveil the first vehicle it plans to produce at that plant in 2018.

Additionally, yesterday the company announced a partnership with Samsung SDI to supply battery cells for its all-electric sedan. The companies worked together on a new cylindrical li-ion battery cell that they described as a “breakthrough.”

Faraday Future (FF), which is another electric vehicle startup in a similar situation as Lucid with its own factory under construction in Nevada, announced a similar deal earlier this year, but with LG Chem, another South Korean battery manufacturer and one of Samsung’s biggest competitors.

Like FF and LG Chem, Lucid Motors and Samsung SDI claim to have collaborated on the development of a cell described as “next-generation cylindrical cells that are able to exceed current performance benchmarks in areas such as energy density, power, calendar life and safety.”

Albert Liu, PhD, Lucid’s Director of Battery Technology, commented on the announcement:

“I have been very pleased with the results of the collaboration with Samsung SDI in developing a cell chemistry that meets our stringent standards. Samsung SDI combined their in-house chemistry expertise with massive real-world datasets and state-of-the-art battery models provided by Lucid to develop a cell that is both energy dense and resistant to damage associated with fast-charging.”

Things are starting to get interesting in that space. Those are similar claims made by FF and LG Chem with the cell they developed or the claims made Tesla and Panasonic for the 2170 battery cell to be manufactured at the Gigafactory.

Peter Rawlinson, CTO of Lucid and the former Chief Engineer of the Tesla Model S, also commented on the deal, describing the new cell as a “breakthrough:”

“The breakthrough battery life demonstrated by the new cell from Samsung SDI will be of tangible benefit to our customers, particularly companies with ride-sharing services operating around the clock. I look forward to continued collaboration with Samsung SDI.”
The company claims that the new cell will enable them to deliver a range of 400 miles for their electric sedan. It’s also interesting that they are following Tesla’s lead and going with a cylindrical cell, like Faraday Future, while most established automakers developing electric vehicles are still using pouch or prismatic cells. More on that later.

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