Battery maker SK On is planning to build a pilot production line for prismatic batteries, TheElec has learned.
Many within the company had so far argued for the push for pouch batteries but since last year many customers had requested that the South Korean battery maker also manufacture prismatic batteries.
The pilot line will be set up at SK On’s Emergy Energy Research Center at its research lab in Daejeon, South Korea, and will go live in December this year at the earliest, sources said.
It has already sent requests for quotations to its equipment supplier to build the line, they added, which means the specifications for the batteries are likely already finalized.
If SK On decides to proceed with commercializing prismatic batteries it will become the second South Korean battery maker after Samsung SDI to make the battery type.
Abroad, China’s CATL, Sweden’s Northvolt and France’s ACC also manufacture prismatic batteries.
Like Samsung SDI, SK On will likely use the stacking method to produce the prismatic batteries.
Sources said SK On is likely also hoping to win orders from Volkswagen, which has previously stated that it plans to use prismatic batteries on its electric vehicles while it is also planning to produce its own called Unified Prismatic Cell.
The German car giant will likely also have some of its existing battery suppliers to contract manufacture the Unified Prismatic Cell.
Samsung SDI is already considering becoming a contract manufacturer for Volkswagen’s battery cells.
The German car giant had said it plans to build six battery cell factories by 2030 for an annual production capacity of 240GWh. It is planning to start manufacturing prismatic cells in 2025.