Samsung lithium-ion cell to recharge to 80 percent in 20 minutes


Samsung SDI battery plant in Xi'an, China

Samsung SDI battery plant in Xi'an, China

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The limitations of current lithium-ion battery-cell technology pose a hindrance to more widespread adoption of plug-in electric cars.

Relatively short ranges and long charging times accorded by current lithium-ion cells still limit the appeal of electric cars in the minds of many new-car buyers.

Now Samsung SDI—the South Korean electronics giant's battery subsidiary—claims to have a potential solution to at least one of those problems.

DON'T MISS: Samsung wants to be major battery player, just like LG Chem (Sep 2016)

The company has a new cell design for electric cars capable of recharging to nearly-full capacity in 20 minutes, according to TechCrunch.

Specifically, Samsung SDI claims that, in an electric car with a 372-mile range, a battery pack composed of these cells will be able to recover 310 miles of range in that time.

That is almost certainly using DC fast-charging, which has previously been benchmarked at a recharge to the same 80 percent of capacity in 30 minutes or more.

Audi publicity image for Q6 all-electric SUV, which is to use cells from LG Chem and Samsung SDI

Audi publicity image for Q6 all-electric SUV, which is to use cells from LG Chem and Samsung SDI

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The company also promises substantial weight reductions for a battery pack using these new cells, compared to packs that use today's production cells.

Samsung SDI reportedly doesn't expect the new cell design to be production feasible until 2021, but the usual caveat for promising early results applies here.

ALSO SEE: Audi Electric SUV To Target Tesla With LG Chem, Samsung Cells (Aug 2015)

Technologies that may seem promising in the initial stages of research are not guaranteed to be commercially viable.

If Samsung SDI can meet this performance claim, though, it would be able to produce electric-car battery packs that could recharged faster than even the current highest-speed DC fast-charging stations allow.

Lucid Air

Lucid Air

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Samsung currently supplies lithium-ion cells for the BMW i3 electric car, and will be a battery supplier for two fairly high-profile forthcoming electric cars.

One is the Audi e-tron electric SUV, which will enter production in 2018 and use cells from both Samsung SDI and fellow South Korean firm LG Chem.

MORE: Lucid reveals design for its luxury Air sedan, a Tesla competitor (Dec 2016)

The other is the 300-mile Air luxury electric car from California-based startup Lucid Motors, which the automaker hopes to put into production within roughly the same time frame as the Audi.

Last year, Samsung also acquired a 4-percent stake in Chinese automaker BYD, which also counts Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway as an investor.

[hat tip: Tom Moloughney]

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