Samsung’s SDI may have discovered supercapacitor battery technology capable of revolutionizing the electric vehicle industry. According to a recent Techcrunch article, the new battery cell has improved density and a “max range of up to 372 miles on a full charge.”
What’s even more impressive, Samsung’s battery has the ability to recharge within 20 minutes – allowing it to rekindle another 310 miles. If true, this would solve one of the major issues facing the EV industry: sustained power efficiency. That would now mean that an EV owner could pull into a charging station, grab a quick coffee, read the newspaper for a bit, and regain 300+ miles of charge. That would certainly change the minds of potential drivers still on the fence about taking the EV challenge.
Samsung’s Cylinder Battery vs. Tesla’s Gigafactory
With Tesla building its Gigafactory in Nevada and Samsung’s new 21700 cylinder battery cell being used in high-end EV prototypes, like the Lucid Air, the race to build a high-density battery is officially on. Tesla is certainly doing their part and now that Samsung has pushed the battery tech envelope with mass production scheduled for 2021, the growing queue of electric vehicle prototypes may have a few viable options to power their EV’s.
Samsung’s new tech aligns perfectly with scheduled EV prototypes planning to launch over the next five years. They include: Fisker’s EMotion, Lucid Motor’s Air, Faraday Future’s FF 91, Jaguar’s I-Pace, Mercedes-Benz electric cargo truck and VW’s electric concept car.
But don’t think for a second that Samsung’s new announcement hasn’t garnered the attention of Tesla’s Elon Musk. Tesla’s new Gigafactory hopes to tap into what the company says is another 30% increase in energy in weight for lithium-ion batteries. Elon Musk, always the visionary, predicted that supercapacitors, not hydrogen, would be the breakthrough for electric vehicles. “Ultracapacitors charge and discharge in seconds, have a lifetime of up to 500 times that of lithium-ion batteries, and are highly reliable.”
Lithium-ion Battery Technology
Whether you point the finger at capacity or volatility, it’s no secret that improvements need to be made around lithium-ion battery technology. In a recent iReviews feature article and according to Tesla, “the battery pack starts deteriorating at 4-5 years of use, and by the 8th year, the capacity decreases by 30 percent.” With a minimum battery price tag of $12K, it’s a rather expensive and critical part to replace after only five years of owning your $35K Tesla Model 3.
Samsung’s battery tech has double the range capacity compared to Tesla’s, according to Techcrunch. “Tesla’s superchargers currently manage around 170 miles on a half-hour charge,” whereas Samsung offers 310 miles of charge with just 20 minutes. Tesla, partnering with Panasonic, hopes to build a supercapacitor that reduces charging time down between five and 10 minutes, CTO JB Straubel said.
EV Prototypes Hitting the Streets in 2021
With the first crop of EV prototypes set to hit the streets in 2021, the race for high-density supercapacitors seems to be taking center stage, whether you’re an electronics manufacturer or an electric vehicle innovator. One thing is for sure, whoever does create a battery capable of 300+ miles on a 20 minute or less charge, will be solving arguably the number one problem facing electric vehicles.