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.
Samsung SDI is preparing at least two versions of the battery with the alternative version to the original being shorter than 80mm in length, sources said.
It is like BMW, not Tesla, that requested a 46-diameter cylinder battery with a shorter length, they said.
Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, the leader of the entire Samsung business group, recently visited Europe and confirmed publicly that he met those at BMW during his visit.
The pilot line being prepared at Cheonan has an annual capacity slightly below 1GWh with 20ppm production speed.
The aim is to increase production speed to between 200 to 300ppm, which will equal between 8GWh to 12GWh to annual production capacity.
The actual mass production line will likely be built at Samsung SDI’s battery plant in Seremban, Malaysia.
Samsung SDI added 2170 cylinder battery production there last year. The plant began making cylinder batteries back in 2012.
Meanwhile, the company had already placed orders for the equipment for the pilot line.
Hanwha Corporation will provide the electrode equipment, which it had been effectively exclusively providing for Samsung SDI since last year. It is also aiming to supply roll pressers and slitters if it can.
Koem will be providing the winder and assembly equipment.
Hanwha and Koem had both supplied their equipment to Tesla for their 4680 battery pilot line in Fremont, California.