Samsung SDI -- the company's battery division of Samsung -- released a unique battery pack that can boost the range of electric vehicles. Samsung explained that the battery would allow cars to go between 600 - 700 km (372 - 434 miles) depending on how many batteries are installed.
The announcement came at this week's Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA Cars 2017).
"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,” said the company. "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."
Most electric automobiles (especially those from established names like Nissan and General Motors) use prismatic cells. Prismatic cells do well to reduce weight and production costs, making them some of the most efficient on the market. However, when Tesla pioneered its cylindrical Li-ion battery cells, people took notice. Initially, electric vehicle startups were the first to try and duplicate Tesla's cylindrical cells. However LG Chem and Samsung SDI soon followed suit.
Tesla's most recent battery for the Model 3 was dubbed the '2170.' It was built in partnership with Panasonic at the Tesla Gigafactory. Earlier in 2017, Samsung debuted its own version of the '2170' at the North American International Auto Show. They claimed the batteries would charge in just 20 minutes.
"Samsung SDI introduced in its customer exhibition a 'high-energy density battery cell of the next generation for a driving range of up to 600km that can fast charge EVs in 20 minutes' as well as an 'integrated battery module' concept with a 10 percent decrease in component units and weight compared to the currently produced models," the company wrote in a press release.
However, a recent Consumer Reports test reminds all of us that just because a car is estimated to have an extensive range doesn't mean it always meets those expectations. Two of Samsung's biggest competitors in electric vehicles -- Tesla and Chevy -- found this out the hard way. EPA estimates listed the Tesla Model S 75D having a range of about 416 kilometers (259 miles) per charge under ideal conditions. The Bolt was only estimated to travel 383 km (238 miles). However, when Consumer Reports took both cars out for a test drive, the Bolt bested the Model S by nearly 50 km. The report challenged the cars in 'mixed driving' conditions, meaning the vehicles had to work under less than ideal conditions. However, for the average driver, mixed condition reports reflect a typical day of driving.
We'll have to wait and see just how good Samsung's battery life is compared to the company's rather impressive claims, especially in a realistic environment.