2016 NAIAS: Samsung SDI new cells

2016 NAIAS: Samsung SDI new cells
Samsung SDI at the 2016 North American International Auto Show

The last weeks were rich in information regarding electric mobility. It was the time to be quiet and observe. That’s why I didn’t write anything, I was absorbing every bit of information I could and reflect about it.

Now it’s time to share some of my thoughts 🙂

The last time Samsung SDI showed their cells they unintentionally revealed that BMW i3 was getting a battery upgrade.

Well, let me get Sherlock’s magnifying glass to analyze what we’re seeing in the photo above.

  1. The 60 Ah cell is past. The 94 Ah took over and replaced it as the biggest cell. When the stock of 60 Ah cells ends, BMW i3 get the new 94 Ah cells. That’s a 57 % increase.
  2. The 26 Ah, 28 Ah and 37 Ah cells correspond to cells for PHEVs (plugin hybrids). They have less energy density but are able to handle higher discharge/charge rates. The 94 Ah cells correspond to cells for BEVs (battery electric), these cells have higher energy density.
  3. The new and more energy dense cells that the pretty lady is holding are shorter than the 94 Ah cells, specially the one on the right. This enables the possibility of adopting a skateboard platform for batteries. These cells are reported to be 20-30 % more energy dense and I guess the same logic applies. The one on the left is for PHEVs and the one on the right is for BEVs.


The battery on the left is a skateboard-like battery pack just as used by Tesla Motors


We already know Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf 2 will have 60 kWh batteries, this means that the first generation electric cars with improved range will have their prices dropped sooner or later. This is great news for the massification of electric cars.

As soon as the 2015 Leaf is out of stock, we’ll see the Nissan Leaf have its price dropped. I’m following Nissan Leaf’s stock at cars.com and this is what we have at the moment:

2016 (1,708)

2015 (930)

2014 (9)

2013 (3)

2012 (1)



More info:




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4 years ago

Those are really great news Pedro! Would also be able to contact you as you used to frequent a portuguese forum and lost your contact. Many thanks!

4 years ago

Hello sapcmc.

I still frequent that forum, but now just as a reader. I’m happy to see the community is getting organized and working together with the new government to push electric mobility forward. I expect very good things for electric cars this year, starting in March….


4 years ago

Hi, many thanks. Do you have news on the BMW i3 offering retrofit battery upgrades on existing units? Asking as considering to purchase a second hand one.

You also have my email available in my name feel free to contact me.


4 years ago

I can’t answer for BMW, they already said yes but also said they are thinking about it.

They’ll probably offer the chance to upgrade not from the beginning, but months after. They can even price it high enough for people don’t even consider it. The new upgraded battery will arrive in summer, for BMW and for Volkswagen. We’ll have more informations at Geneva International Motor Show happening in March.

Hold on, it’s less than 2 months away.

4 years ago

Yes, I better wait a couple of months also on time for 2016 fiscal year budget to see if any government incentives for scrapping cars reaching end of life.

4 years ago

I have been banned from that forum now so will have to visit more international websites for the news and discussions.