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Power Transportation Technology

Next-Gen Samsung EV Battery Gets 300+ Miles of Range From 20-Minute Charge (techcrunch.com) 198

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Samsung's SDI battery subsidiary announced a new battery cell designed for use in electric vehicles that offers improved density to manage a max range of up to 372 miles on a full charge, with a quick charge capacity that will help it regain 310 miles or so of charge on just 20 minutes of charging. Unveiled at the North American International Auto Show for the first time, the new battery tech come with a 10 percent decrease in the number of units and weight required vs. current production battery units made by Samsung SDI. Mass production isn't set to begin until 2021, but the tech should arrive in time to supply the first crop of autonomous cars, which are also targeting street dates sometime within that year from a range of manufacturers. A 20-minute charge delivering that kind of range would help considerably with making EVs more practical for more drivers; it's around the time you'd spend at a rest stop using the restroom and grabbing coffee or a snack, after all. By comparison, Tesla's superchargers currently manage to provide around 170 miles of range on a half-hour charge, so Samsung's planned tech could approximately double that.
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Next-Gen Samsung EV Battery Gets 300+ Miles of Range From 20-Minute Charge

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  • I'm sure it'll be available at the low, LOW price of just $50,000. Such a bargain! That is, ultimately, what keeps most people from ever considering an electric vehicle: They're just too damn expensive.
    • You either pay a premium today to slow the damage of combustion engines or pay the full price later when the damage has been done.

      If you do the math, that premium is cheaper in the long run.
      • As if everyone has 50k to spend on a car and they are just being jerks by not purchasing an EV.
      • I don't believe it is at all cheaper in the long run. And it certainly isn't cheaper if you plan on keeping the car long enough that you have to change out the batteries. Plus, in some states (like mine) there are taxes on the car based on its price, making the greenest cars even more expensive to own. I'm not even sure the green cars are even greener, I believe that if you consider production pollution that green cars may be dirtier (although admittedly I have not seen data that I can trust on this).
        • by AaronW ( 33736 )

          It certainly is cheaper with modern batteries. With the Tesla model S people have already put over 100K miles on the car and they're seeing less than a 5% loss of range. I'm at about 50K miles in mine and have not noticed any reduction in range or performance. The batteries are rated for 3000 charge/discharge cycles which equates to well over 600,000 miles.

          Mechanically the system is far simpler than an ICE car. There are far fewer moving parts. The motor is lubricated for 12 years, instead of every 6 months

      • and my family dies of heart attacks in their MID 60s. Those are odds I'll play. Especially at my income level and with a kid in college. As for the kid, well she's on her own after she graduates. It's all I can do to pay for the damn thing.
    • can't keep up with demand, that is. they keep expanding and expanding their plants. and doing so here in the good ol' USA, at least for final assembly.

    • by Ranbot ( 2648297 )

      ...ultimately, what keeps most people from ever considering an electric vehicle: They're just too damn expensive.

      Not necessarily... Just like regular cars you can find bargains if you buy used and you still get all the EV's long-term cost savings others mention. In July 2015 I bought a certified-used 2013 Nissan LEAF with 11K miles on it for ~$15K. If I had bought that car new in the same trim it would have been ~34K. It's been great. Someone else took the bulk of the depreciation hit, I still get the vast majority of the factory warranty, fueling is cheaper, maintenance is cheaper, and inspections are cheaper (no em

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Obfuscant ( 592200 )

        In July 2015 I bought a certified-used 2013 Nissan LEAF with 11K miles on it for ~$15K. ... because the bottom line is it saves us money.

        The current price for a Leaf replacement battery is $5500 plus install etc., so say $6000 ballpark. At $2.50/gallon, that's 2400 gallons of gas. Say you get a car that does 30MPG, that's 72,000 miles.

        Your used car was driven 5000 miles per year. To go 72,000 miles, that would be 14 years of driving. The expected lifetime of the battery pack is 10 years. You're four years short of breaking even.

        You already limit your driving due to range, relying on a second car for longer trips, or just a lot of small tri

        • by Ranbot ( 2648297 )

          First, as much as I appreciate your analysis on my household transportation finances, I'll point that my wife and I have had two ICE cars for years before (we each have jobs to commute to, so we're not getting by with one car). I swapped my ICE for an EV. So, no real change in our finances other than spending less on one of the cars.

          Second, regarding the fear-mongering over battery changes, it's simply overblown. If you want to see how these batteries perform in real world conditions all you have to do is l

          • by AaronW ( 33736 )

            I have almost 50K miles on my Tesla Model S (P85) and have not noticed any loss in range. The general consensus is that there is less than 5% loss in range after 100K miles with the 85KWh battery pack. The batteries are not the same as those used in cell phones and are much more rugged. I spend $50/month ($0.12/KWh) on electricity and drive around 1000 miles/month with most of that charging being at home. It's a big car, so I'm spending a fraction of what I'd spend on gas for a similar car, especially a car

        • The expected lifetime of a battery is not 10 years, the battery has a warranty for 10 years but just like a car with a warranty of 3 years that doesn't mean the car is expected to only last 3 years.

          • the battery has a warranty for 10 years

            From here [nissanusa.com]:

            Every U.S. specification Nissan LEAF is backed by a New Vehicle Limited Warranty providing: ... 96 months/100,000 miles (whichever occurs earlier) Lithium-Ion Battery coverage.

            Ninety-six months is 8 years.

    • What they don't mention is that once the first lot of Samsung batteries have finished burning you need to feed more into the firebox or you lose steam pressure and therefore range.
  • What happens then? Does cold weather affect battery performance? Without an internal combustion engine, the only way to get heat in the cabin is via electricity, which is going to impose a considerable burden on the battery.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      I believe they also need to warm the battery to operating temperatures to prevent damage.
      • Re:Cold weather? (Score:4, Informative)

        by short ( 66530 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @05:01PM (#53637087) Homepage
        No, you need to warm the battery first only to charge it. This is why Tesla disables recuperation during initial drive with cold battery. When it is cold it only has reduced capacity + current but that does not matter as during winter you do not need super-sport accelerations; and after 30 mins of driving it gets a normal temperature from invertor+engine heat so that you can utilize its full capacity.
        • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

          as during winter you do not need super-sport accelerations...

          Not that super-sport accelerations are ever "needed", but not every place with cold temps has snow.

          • by short ( 66530 )
            You cannot use high power even of a cold ICE. Although ICE warms to its full power capability some minutes earlier than an EV I guess.
    • Re:Cold weather? (Score:5, Informative)

      by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @04:46PM (#53636957)

      I have no details about this battery in particular, but my experience with owning an EV, and knowing others who own them is that range drops around 15% at 0-5C compared to 20-30C.

    • Re:Cold weather? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jrmcferren ( 935335 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (nerrefcm.eibbor)> on Monday January 09, 2017 @04:47PM (#53636973) Journal

      Only on startup will electric heating be required to heat the cabin. Once the battery is up to temperature heating can be accomplished the same was it is now by piping some of the battery coolant through a heater core. If designed correctly (and the driver plans correctly) initial heating can actually be done while the car is still connected to the charger.

    • Re:Cold weather? (Score:4, Informative)

      by npslider ( 4555045 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @04:48PM (#53636983)

      Yeah... this weekend's weather forecast calls for 40 Below Zero in my town (Alaska).

      I wonder how those batteries will do here. Our car batteries get a little cranky w/o either a trickle changer or a battery pad warmer at those temperatures.

      In my parts of the woods, all cars plug in, just not all year round! ;)

      • by myrdos2 ( 989497 )

        You can't charge them below 0C. So you'd need a heated garage. Lithium ion batteries can be used at temperatures down to -40C, but they can't discharge as fast. So you're right at the limit. My rule of thumb is: if you get square tires, don't use your battery.

        • They sell square tires?

          What's next.... Curved TV's?

          • They sell square tires?

            I think he's referring to the phenomenon where, in very low temperatures, the tires lose flexibility. So if you park and let the tires cool, the flat spots that were against the road surface stay flat until the car has moved far enough to heat the tires a bit.

            Ka-bump, ka-bump, ka-bump, like driving on square tires (though only one side, not four, is actually flat).

            • I was actually making a joke cause square tires sounded funny, like something from the Far Side Comics...

              Living in Alaska, we deal with that a lot. When it gets to 25 below zero or colder, I have to take it slow the first quarter-mile or so, so that my squared-up tires have time to safely return to their correct shape. I've been told that driving too fast on stiff tires can damage them.

              And, yup, it sure does go ka-bump, ka-bump! :)

              • so, do like the Alaskan bush pilots and throw a lighted pan of gasoline under the battery pack 1/2 hour before you want to go for a drive? ;-)

        • You can't charge them below 0C. So you'd need a heated garage.

          Or a heater in the battery pack to preheat them up to 0C before the main charging begins. Once they're charging, the slight inefficiency of even the best ultrafast-charge cells makes the problem keeping them cool, rather than keeping them warm enough. (Ditto when they're discharging, of course.)

          If you are going to supply them with, say, 300 kilowatts or so for 20 minutes while charging them, you can spare a kilowatt for a few minutes to drive a

        • by OFnow ( 1098151 )
          Tesla warms (or cools) the battery as necessary before and during charging to ensure the system works. At a SuperCharger recharging at outside temp of 106 degrees F it is faintly amusing to hear the fans in the charging cars all working hard to keep the batteries cool. If cold enough it would probably take a while to heat the batteries enough to really get charging started,....but I have no personal experience of that and am sort of guessing.
      • Our car batteries get a little cranky w/o either a trickle changer or a battery pad warmer at those temperatures.

        Car starter batteries do terribly in cold weather because they are expected to deliver a huge percentage of their power in a few seconds, when cold. An EV will have a huge battery pack, which is only expected to output a small percentage of its available power gradually over the course of your drive.

        In short, you'll have less range when the batteries are cold, but they will always work just fine

    • by Ranbot ( 2648297 )

      What happens then? Does cold weather affect battery performance? Without an internal combustion engine, the only way to get heat in the cabin is via electricity, which is going to impose a considerable burden on the battery.

      Not really...Consider this, if the battery is powerful enough to drive the car around for miles then powering a little heater and fan isn't going to tax it that much. I'm driving my Nissan LEAF in Pennsylvania in 20 degree F weather this week and I drove it all through last winter too. There is an ~10-20% hit to the range in colder weather, but the heater [and my heated steering wheel] isn't that big of deal, certainly no more than running the AC in the summer. It gets along just fine. In fact, last winter

  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @04:45PM (#53636943) Homepage

    Avoiding the obvious comment/joke/pun regarding fiery past Samsung has with rechargeable products recently, the first thing I always want to see in regards to car battery technology is how many charge/discharge cycles can it handle?

    If we were to assume the worst case, a vehicle could be driven 600 miles (two charge/discharge cycles) every day. Multiply that by 300 days in a year and an expected 5 (7?) year life, this is 3,000 charge/discharge cycles and what I see for most lithium battery technology is usually around 500 cycles. This doesn't include temperature extremes (say from -30C to 45C).

    Can this (or any) technology provide this kind of life in a car environment? What do Tesla batteries claim to be able to do?

    • by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @05:21PM (#53637229)

      At 900,000 miles I suspect that the state of the battery pack is the least of your worries..... On any normal car the entire running system has either been replaced or so heavily maintained that it may as well have been replaced.

    • If you get 300-400 miles per charge and expect that battery to last 500 cycles, you end up with 150k-200k miles.

      By that point, a vehicle will have aged significantly---and even an ICE would see substantial maintenance costs.

      And, typically, the 500-cycle lifetime is based on the battery being reduced to 80% of its maximum capacity due to wear. It would still be functional---the vehicle will only suffer a reduced range.

      Electric vehicles don't have to deal with things like gearboxes, belts, spark plugs, cataly

    • by Wargames ( 91725 )

      How is 600 miles worst case? It wasn't wise but as a kid, I once drove 36 hours straight with maybe a 2 hr nap. Worst case in miles is going to be 24 hours * (max sustainable miles / hour) - number of recharges required * recharge_time. I think a number closer to 1500 miles is more like it. There are toll roads where the speed limit is 85.

      • How long can you drive 36 hours straight with 2 hour naps in between?

        I picked 600 miles as a reasonable average.

        • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

          I'd wager zero times. Unless he was hopped up on caffeine (or worse). In any event, boasting about being a menace on the road is not really topical.

    • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @06:24PM (#53637629) Journal

      ... the first thing I always want to see in regards to car battery technology is how many charge/discharge cycles can it handle?

      That's the wrong metric for lithium ion batteries.

      As I understand it, the main ageing mechanism that kills them is oxidation of the graphite anode, which starts when the cell is manufactured and isn't appreciably affected by usage except for being accelerated somewhat by being stored at high temperatures with low (20%) charge.

      Charge/discharge cycling does cause some "wear", but it's generally a smaller effect. (That's why the advice for, for instance, laptop batteries is not to avoid using them. For long term storage unused they last the longest if put away at about 40% charge.)

      This means that it's mainly the age of the cells, not their usage or charge history, that determines when they die. A pack designed for 7 years life will probably give you 7 years life unless you either run it nearly all the way down (which the battery management logic should prevent) or run it down to a low charge and leave it out in the sun for months.

      Also: At least one new anode material appears not to age measurably at all.

      • As I understand it, the main ageing mechanism that kills them is oxidation of the graphite anode, which starts when the cell is manufactured and isn't appreciably affected by usage except for being accelerated somewhat by being stored at high temperatures with low (20%) charge.

        That's complete nonsense.

        Li-Ion cells absolutely are severely negatively affected by cycling. (PDF) [sc.edu]

        That's not to say there isn't calendar fade/degradation of Li-Ion cells. Just that it is far less significant than charge/discharge cy

    • by OFnow ( 1098151 )
      This is not quite the right question to ask as it hints that 'charging is charging' and 'batteries are batteries'. But Tesla goes to great lengths to control battery temp (cooling or heating the batteries as needed) and charge rate during charging to ensure the best possible batter life. Leaf just hopes you won't let the batteries get too hot or cold when charging (unsure about temp control while driving). I admit I don't quite know how to phrase the 'right question' :-)
    • "I see for most lithium battery technology is usually around 500 cycles."

      Most devices with Lithium batteries are only expected to last a few years and the important factor is how long the device can run per charge so they tend to use all the capacity. A battery that is charged to 100% will die before one that is charged to less than full capacity. A car should last at least 10 years and the manufacturers have left headroom in their batteries for longevity so when the car reports the battery is at 100% it ac

      • These aren't your run-of-the-mill batteries you buy on Amazon.

        "The data clearly shows that for the first 50,000 miles (100,000 km), most Tesla battery packs will lose about 5% of their capacity, but after the 50,000-mile mark, the capacity levels off and it looks like it could be difficult to make a pack degrade by another 5%.

        The trend line actually suggests that the average battery pack could go another 150,000 miles (200,000 miles total) before coming close to 90% capacity."

        https://electrek.co/2016/11/01/

    • 500 cycles? It's more than that, but honestly no one really knows. Tesla has the best batteries in operation currently and none of them are that old. Here is more direct data:

      "The data clearly shows that for the first 50,000 miles (100,000 km), most Tesla battery packs will lose about 5% of their capacity, but after the 50,000-mile mark, the capacity levels off and it looks like it could be difficult to make a pack degrade by another 5%.

      The trend line actually suggests that the average battery pack could go

  • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @04:47PM (#53636971)
    Does anyone else have extreme skepticism that we'll see real autonomous vehicles available by 2021? (Ignoring the parlour tricks we have today)
    • The only limitation to getting autonomous vehicles on the road by 2021 are legal/regulatory issues.

      Those "parlour tricks" do a pretty good job of driving already, another 4 years of machine learning and I think they'll do a stupendous job.

      On the other hand, my Aunt Mildred will be an even worse driver in 4 years and my nephew Luke will probably still think he's a great driver but all the tickets he's gotten tell me a different story. I look forward to both of them not being behind a wheel in 4 years.

      • by Luthair ( 847766 )
        As far as I know they have no answers for rain or winter, and still have issues with everyday scenarios. I think people are underestimating the time from figuring out these issues and productizing it. Then as you mention there is still a regulation step where we will need to develop standardized tests to validate the vehicles meet minimum standards and develop legal frameworks.
      • Those "parlour tricks" do a pretty good job of driving already, another 4 years of machine learning and I think they'll do a stupendous job.

        Autonomous cars did a pretty good job of driving a decade ago, too. I'm sure they'll do a pretty good job a decade from now, as well, but like today, still not be quite good enough.

        Google's self-driving cars have reported higher incidents of accidents than human drivers, and most of them are limited to low-speeds, and still need human operators to occasionally get them

    • Does anyone else have extreme skepticism that we'll see real autonomous vehicles available by 2021?

      Not at all. We'll all have self-driving cars by 2021, but we won't need fast-charging Li-ion batteries because they'll be FUSION powered. Oh, and they will also be able to fly...

  • by kimgkimg ( 957949 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @04:48PM (#53636985)
    Yeah well that's all well and good, but how many times can this feat be repeated and with what kind of capacity loss to the batteries? Kinda light on the details guys.
  • by foxalopex ( 522681 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @04:55PM (#53637025)

    Although there's a limit to how fast a battery can be charged before it overheats and explodes or simply damages itself, don't forget that there's a practical limit to how much power you can realistically draw from a typical house outlet. A Gallon of gasoline is estimated to have 33.41 KwH! (A normal gas engine throws a good portion of that energy away as heat.) That gallon of gas is pretty close to what my typical household uses in the entire day for electricity! So to pull down the equivalent of a couple of gallons of gas in 20 minutes is going to take the equivalent power drain of a sub-station transformer. It's why you don't see a commercial fast Tesla charger at home. A typical house doesn't use a 480 volt industrial power feed. You don't want much more current in the hands of consumers. A small mistake could cause a nasty explosion / arc.

    • A Gallon of gasoline is estimated to have 33.41 KwH! (A normal gas engine throws a good portion of that energy away as heat.) That gallon of gas is pretty close to what my typical household uses in the entire day for electricity! So to pull down the equivalent of a couple of gallons of gas in 20 minutes is going to take the equivalent power drain of a sub-station transformer.

      That's some very bald-faced lying.

      You already said that the theoretical energy of a tank of gasoline is mostly wasted, but then you g

  • Tesla Currently (Score:5, Informative)

    by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @05:28PM (#53637279) Journal

    Tesla's superchargers currently manage to provide around 170 miles of range on a half-hour charge, so Samsung's planned tech could approximately double that.

    Sure, this technology will beat Tesla's current capability, but it won't be available until 2021. Does Samsung think Tesla won't make improvements by then? They are already quietly increasing the capability of their charging stations, [electrek.co] and rolling out new [fortune.com] batteries [electrek.co] using production tooling. [electrek.co]

  • The Tesla supercharger uses 120kW to do 170, as TFA says, and this does 372. If we assume a similar power factor, that's ~328kW needed for this. Where the fark are they going to find a place to plug that in? Just for reference, that would be nearly 3k amps on a 110v plug
    • Just plant it next to your brand spanking new Nuke reactor to power this. Looking on the web, the most powerful Nuclear site contains 3 reactors generating 3,937 MW of power... Quickly divide this by 328KW leaves us with abut 12K cars super charging at once.
      If you have 3500 acres to spare you could go with Solar. The largest solar plant produces 400 MW, dividing by 328kW leaves us with a little over 1000 cars during a sunny day.
      YMMV
    • To be fair, nobody really charges at 120V. Any decent charger is going to be off of a 240V single phase (for residential) and most commercial is going to have access to (at least) 480V/3phase or three 277V phase-to-ground legs (which is what many commercial fluor ballasts run, iirc). And that presumes that they even bother transforming down from the 7.2kV main before distributing to the DC. Now, I haven't the faintest idea what state of the art is for high amperage AC-DC conversion, but just looking at buil

  • It is a Samsung product - it's bound to explode, at some point.
  • It was better when you could swap out the battery, but now you have to keep a charger handy.
    Plus is spies on you all the time!

    • Not sure when "you" could swap out 1200 pound battery in under 20 minutes from the bottom of a vehicle. Maybe a dozen 20# deep cycles in your trunk. Heck, even if it were accessible, 15 seconds to detach/undock and move a module to a shelf, and the same to move one back and latch into place means you can only move 40 batteries in 20 minutes. So for a Tesla S, that's 30# per battery. The average user (not you - I'm sure you're buff like Chris Helmsworth) is going to be exhaused from something like that.

  • and available at multiple street corners and every exit on the highway. 20 mins and low availability still does not get past range anxiety.

  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Monday January 09, 2017 @08:34PM (#53638457)
    The most efficient EV (Hyundai Ioniq) uses about 25 kWh per 100 miles [fueleconomy.gov]. 310 miles range is them 77.5 kWh.

    77.5 kWh / 20 minutes = 232.5 kW, or enough to power about 200 homes
    77.5 kWh / (480 Volts * 20 minutes) = 484.4 Amps

    And that's assuming 100% charging efficiency (not factoring in heat losses during charging).
  • until I read, mass production will not start by 2021.. By then it should be much faster to charge and be able to go for a longer range.

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