Samsung SDI is planning to build a third electric vehicle battery factory in Hungary, TheElec has learned.
The factory is being built to supply auto giant BMW with batteries, sources said.
The plan comes just around a month after Samsung chairman Lee Jae-yong met with BMW CEO Oliver Zipse.
The new factory will be built near Goed, where Samsung SDI already operates two factories.
Samsung converted the facilities there, which originally manufactured display panels, to those for batteries in 2016.
The new factory being built for BMW is expected to be located across from a road towards the two factories.
Samsung SDI has already bought the land there and can start building it sometime during the first half of this year.
Sources said the South Korean battery maker will manufacture prismatic batteries.
These new batteries will be shorter but wider than its Gen 5 batteries, they said.
Gen 5 batteries have a height of around 90 to 100mm; the new ones will be 60mm. These are also called low height prismatic cells. Samsung SDI’s will also have the positive and negative tabs on the sides instead of on the top.
Samsung SDI designed these new batteries specifically for BMW. The aim of the lower height is to lower the center of gravity, this can increase the travel distance of EVs.
A similar move has been done to pouch batteries by making them longer and changing the positions of the positive and negative tabs.
Samsung SDI is also expected to use high-nickel for the cathode. For the anode, it is expected to increase the amount of silicon it uses by applying silicon carbon nanocomposites.