Samsung SDI is reportedly setting up a new pilot production line to build 4680 battery cells for Tesla. It will be the third manufacturer to try to secure a volume contract to supply Tesla with the new battery cell format.
Korea’s TheElec reports that the Korean manufacturing giant is preparing the new battery cell production line at its Cheonan plant in South Korea:
Samsung SDI was preparing a pilot line at its Cheonan plant in South Korea to test batteries it will be supplying to Tesla, TheElec has learned.
The batteries are 4680 cylinder batteries (46mm diameter, 80mm length) and the South Korean battery firm will verify the technology within the year, sources said.
Interestingly, the publication also reports that Samsung SDI is also planning to test the production of a similar but slightly shorter battery cell for BMW.
Samsung is aiming for the new production line to have a capacity just under 1 GWh, but it will significantly ramp up production if successful as Tesla made it clear it would buy all viable battery cells available.
Tesla is making its own 4680 battery cells, but the automaker has little experience in producing cells, and it has had issues ramping up production.
The company plans to rely on both its own production and supply from established manufacturers to produce the new 4680 format in order to support its production ramp-up and new upcoming vehicle programs like the Cybertruck.
Panasonic is believed to be the most advanced in supplying the battery to Tesla with volume production expected next year.
LG Energy Solutions also recently invested $450 million in producing Tesla’s 4680 battery cell.
Samsung’s timeline is not clear, but TheElec reports that once pilot production is established in Korea, the company is likely to start producing the new cell in a factory with a capacity between 8 and 12 GWh of annual production capacity in Seremban, Malaysia.
The company is reportedly ordering similar manufacturing equipment as Tesla from Hanwha and Koem for the production of the battery cells.
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