Tesla could have another 4680 battery supplier as Samsung SDI is reportedly building a pilot production line in South Korea.
According to The Elec, Samsung is developing the pilot line at its Cheonan plant and is intending to build at least two versions of the new battery. One version will be to Tesla’s specifications, in other words a battery that has a diameter of 46mm and a length of 80mm, while the other will be shorter than 80mm. The report cited unnamed sources familiar with the plans.
The source explained the pilot production line will have an annual capacity of around 1 gigawatt-hour (GWh). Once the pilot line proves successful, mass production would take place at Samsung’s facility in Seremban, Malaysia with the goal of between 8GWh and 12GWh of annual production capacity.
Backing up their claims, the source also said Samsung has ordered equipment for the pilot line, including electrode equipment, and roll pressers and slitters from Hanwha Corporation, while winder and assembly equipment has been purchased from Koem.
Both of these companies provided equipment to Tesla for their 4680 pilot production facility on Kato Rd.
If the report is accurate, Samsung will be joining Panasonic and LG Energy Solutions in becoming a 4680 battery supplier for Tesla.
Panasonic started large-scale prototype production this month and has already sent samples of the new cells to Tesla. The company plans to begin mass production at its Wakayama factory in western Japan before the end of March 2023.
LG announced they will invest 730 billion won (about $568 million) to expand both its 4680 and 2170 battery cell production capacity in South Korea.
Source: The Elec