Samsung Unveils Electric Car Battery with a 435-Mile Range

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Samsung has managed to boost the capacity of electric car battery packs beyond those that are currently on the market, the company announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

As Volkswagen, BMW and others took to the stage to strut their stuff and boast about what makes their brand’s plug-in cars better than the rest, some of the most influential companies that produce the underlying technologies behind these cars deserve a bit of credit as well.

Samsung, the popular smartphone maker, also makes electric car batteries and unveiled a new battery pack at the show. By increasing energy density, the company says it’s packed more power into a single battery and addressed a challenge that all electric car makers face: achieving a longer range without compromising the size of their vehicles.  

Compared with Tesla’s 100 kWh battery, which has 16 modules consisting of 18650 cells that let its Model S P100D travel up to 315 miles on a single charge, using 16 of the Samsung battery packs, the same car could travel 348 miles, making it about 11 percent more efficient. Samsung says it could equip a premium car with up to 20 modules, giving it a range of about 435 miles, or a typical electric sedan with between 10 and 12 modules, allowing up to a 190-mile range. Unfortunately no data was made available on the theoretical test weight of either vehicle, nor the overall capacity of the batteries.

The packs use individual “2170” cells, which are named after their dimensions: 21 millimeters in height and 70 millimeters in diameter, notably the same dimensions as those used in the Tesla Model 3 manufactured at Tesla’s Gigafactory.

Using Samsung’s new battery technologies, however, may help more automakers develop longer-range vehicles, potentially boosting the shift to electric that many manufacturers are working toward today and even give Tesla and battery-maker Panasonic a run for their money.

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