Samsung SDI unveils its 21-70 battery cell that provide a 372 mile-range in an EV and charges the pack up to 80% in 20 minutes

Published By: Eunice Gettys on January 10, 2017 07:24 am EST

Last week, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) confirmed that it started the production of its new 21-70 battery cell on schedule by the end of 2016 at the Gigafactory in Sparks, NV. The company claims that the cell has the highest energy density and is the cheapest cell in the world that would make the Model 3 a reality at the $35,000 price point.

Now, Tesla is about to face true competition in battery cells coming from South Korea, as Samsung SDI showcased its own cell technology that has the same dimensions at the North American International Auto Show (NAISAS), Electrek reported. While not disclosing the chemistry of cells, the company revealed that the prismatic cells would allow an EV to travel 600 km (372 miles) per charge which can power 80% of the battery pack in merely 20 minutes.

Samsung SDI published a press release that it also rolled out “integrated battery module concept with a 10% decrease in component units and weight compared to the currently produced models.” Although the battery has the same dimensions as the one produced by Tesla and Panasonic, the South Korean company has opted to refer it by its more traditional ‘21700.’

“This is the technology which is attracting more focus as U.S. automobile startups are adopting this technology in their EVs,” the company added, pointing towards Faraday Future and Lucid Motors.

Samsung SDI claims that its new battery module can fit twice as many 21700 battery cells (over 24units with 6-8kWh), compared to traditional battery module that includes 12 cells with a capacity of 2-3kWh. It previously used prismatic and pouch battery cells for electric cars; therefore, the cylindrical cells are a new foray for the company.

The new battery cell could pose real threat to Tesla, but not anytime in the near future, as Samsung SDI expects to start its mass production by 2021, compared to Tesla’s same goal of achieving the same thing by 2018. Over the coming years, it could increase its battery’s efficiency and reduce charging time for Tesla cars.