Samsung SDI develops a graphene battery

Cycle life of LIB improved with graphene by Samsung SDI


Graphene balls improve energy density, cycle life and fast charging capability of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs).


Graphene flakes have been extensively tested to make anodes in LIBs, but now Samsung SDI comes up with something better. Graphene balls (GB) can be used, not only to make the anode, but also to coat the NCM cathode making it more stable and resistant.


You can read the full article in Nature, but here is what matters the most:

“Taking the unique advantages of GB, the full-cell consisting of the GB-coated cathode and GB anode demonstrates the possibility of high volumetric energy density near 800 Wh L−1 in a commercial cell condition, together with 78.6% capacity retention after 500 cycles at 5C and 60 °C.”


What’s interesting is that this new battery has a better energy density at 60 ºC (444 Wh/kg) than at 25 ºC (370 Wh/kg), making the use of a TMS (Thermal Management System) dispensable.

Charging at 5 C, means that a battery can be charged from 0 to 80 % in slightly less than 10 minutes. Furthermore, a volumetric energy density of 800 Wh/L means that an electric car like the Renault Zoe could have a 75 kWh battery and a realistic range of 500 km.

Given that the battery capacity retention is 78,6 % after 500 cycles at 5 C and 60 °C, a 500 km range becomes 400 km after 250.000 km (500 cycles).


Now the real question is: how long will it take to see this battery technology in electric cars?


Considering that SK innovation and LG Chem are coming with high energy density and low cost NCM 811 EV battery cells already next year, is this a real effort from Samsung SDI to catch up or just something to get some media attention?


Notice that Samsung SDI is BMW’s battery cell supplier, and BMW doesn’t expect to start using NCM 811 battery cells in its electric cars before 2021, which makes me think that Samsung SDI is lagging behind and really needs to step up its game.


BMW Group Technology Workshops –E-Mobility in December 2016


Anyway, after reading the Nature’s article I’m convinced that this battery technology is mature and ready for production.


What do you think?



More info:

Pedro Lima

More than natural resources, are wasted human resources that bothers me the most. That’s why I’m a strong advocate of a society based on cooperation, not competition, that helps every individual to reach his full potential so that he can contribute back to society. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.

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9 Responses

  1. Ouhou says:

    Press has been talking about graphen for years now, if it is actually close to be comercialised it would be fantastic!

  2. Marcel G says:

    I took a quick look at the Nature article, and although much of it was over my head, it sounds like they were focused on commercially viable manufacturing techniques, which would bode well for being able to bring it to market within a shorter time frame.

    The charging durability at 60C is also very impressive, but I wonder how it performs in colder temperatures. Does the capacity drop off in a linear manner below 25C? That looks like it would lose ~25% from the 25C capacity at -10C, which is a pretty big drop off. Then again, a battery heater like the Leaf has would keep it from getting too cold.

    As well, since most charging would be done at temperatures closer to 25C, and probably at less than 5C, it looks like it could keep 90%+ capacity at 250,000km.

    In any case, a more exciting development, and hopefully a lot more substantial than the normal breakthrough vapourware articles.

  3. Another Euro point of view says:

    Not directly linked to the topic of this article but there were recently a few articles about large car makers (VW group, BMW) trying to secure their access to one of the components of li-ion which is cobalt. Some specialist in that field (one of them being Nick French) are saying that limited cobalt supply may slow down in the short term (say between now and 2021) the mass adoption of the electric car as it would take time to ramp up production of cobalt to level needed for EV mass adoption. Many reasons for that, cobalt being more or loss a side product of the mining of other metal (Nickel), that so far, main producer is central africa with known infrastructures issues and also that it is a very capital intensive activity and between time financing is agreed and time mining is actually effective a gap of a few years is to be expected. I don’t know what to make of this but if true we might indeed see a slower that expected ramp up of li-ion cells production even if new 811 technology uses less cobalt than older 622 technology.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Also for that reason the upcoming NCM 811 battery cells are very important and a complete game changer.

      For example if we upgrade electric cars from current NCM 622 cells to NCM 811, we’ll use half the cobalt, while getting roughly 30 % more energy capacity at a lower cost.

      • Another Euro point of view says:

        Indeed, and it is probably not to be expected that EV batteries production ramps up that much faster than cobalt production from mining.

  4. Rafael says:

    Hola Pedro Lima. Son tantas las promesas de baterías revolucionarias que iban a llegar al mercado que al final todas se han quedado en el cajón de los sueños. Con respecto a esta de Samsung promete mucho pero hasta que no la vea en el mercado masivo no me lo creere.

    • Pedro Lima says:

      Hola Rafael.

      I understand how you feel, but Samsung SDI really needs to release something new soon to catch up with SK innovation and LG Chem, this might be it.

  5. Lars says:

    Fisker has submitted a patent application for a battery technology that according to their claims should be ready for large scale production in 2023 and allows to recharge the battery in one minute with 800 km of range.

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