Samsung reveals the battery of the future — and it probably won't explode


Samsung SDI debuted a "next generation" battery for electronic vehicles at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday. The high-density battery features fast charging capabilities — it can charge to 80% capacity in 20 minutes — and the ability to drive 373 miles on a full charge.

The fast-charging technology behind the battery, which is scheduled for mass production in 2021, can give drivers of autonomous vehicles a larger driving range. "With a 20-minute charge, you can have a driving range of up to 500 km [310 miles], which is 80% of the capacity," Samsung SDI said in a press release. "This means that only 20 minutes in the highway rest area will be enough for a battery to be charged, eliminating the range anxiety of EV drivers."

The new battery's specs outpace the electronic vehicle batteries currently on the market. The Tesla supercharger offers a range of 170 miles in 30 minutes, reports CNBC, while noting that Tesla and Panasonic are collaborating on battery technology to produce powerful units.

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The company also introduced an "integrated battery module" concept, which lightens the weight with a 10% reduction in components compared to existing battery models. Consider this: Traditional EV battery modules have 12 cells and a capacity of 2 to 3kWh, while the integrated battery module has 24 cells and a capacity of 6 to 8kWh. Using an "advanced electro-mechanical design," the company is able to create a larger battery with fewer units.

"The high-energy density battery cell with the fast charging capability and the integrated battery module are the innovative technologies with full potentials that can transform the market," a Samsung spokesman said in a statement. "Expectations are high that we will be able to accelerate the vehicle electrification utilizing these technologies with improved driving range, manufacturing efficiency and user convenience."

A brief history of Samsung's battery trouble

Reuters reported in November that Samsung SDI would be branching out to electric vehicle batteries after the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 mishap — Samsung SDI manufactured the Galaxy Note 7's faulty batteries that spontaneously caught on fire last year. After dozens of reported cases, Samsung recalled all handsets on the market and ultimately discontinued the device after replacement smartphones, whose batteries were sourced elsewhere, were also catching on fire.