Samsung SDI 94 Ah battery cell full specifications

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 1-13

Be warned, this is going to be a long article. Nonetheless if you’re interested in battery technology or have a BMW i3, you’ll like reading it.

Later this year, the BMW i3 will get its battery upgraded with NCM 622 cells and the capacity will increase from 94 to 120 Ah. With 120 Ah battery cells, the BMW i3 will have a total battery capacity around 42,62 kWh (96 x 120 Ah x 3,7 V).

Moreover, the new battery cells are already in production at the Samsung SDI plant in Hungary. BMW will announce the new battery for the i3 in the summer.


BMW Group Technology Workshops –E-Mobility in December 2016


Nonetheless, this article isn’t about the new 120 Ah cells.

Currently the BMW i3 battery has NCM 111 battery cells rated at 94 Ah and made by Samsung SDI. NCM 111 means that the cathode is made with one part nickel (33 %), one part cobalt (33 %) and other part manganese (33 %). Sometimes, these battery cells are also referred to as NCM 333.

Let’s see the interesting stuff, the official specs.


Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 2-13


This battery cell complies with BEV2 VDA standard (just 1 cm taller) and its dimensions are 173 mm x 125 mm x 45 mm.


Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 3-13


The volumetric energy density is 352 Wh/L, while the gravimetric energy density is 174 Wh/kg.


Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 4-13


Unless a short circuit occurs you don’t need to worry about a thermal runaway ever happening. Moving on…

Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 6-13


After 4.600 charge/discharge complete cycles (from 0 to 100 %) at 25º C, the battery cells retain 80 % of the initial capacity. If we consider that with a full charge a BMW i3 have on average a 200 km of range during the 4.600 cycles, it means that by the time it reaches 920.000 km it’ll still have 80 % of its initial battery capacity left.


Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 8-13


Batteries are like people, they work best at 25º C and that’s why TMS (Thermal Management Systems) are so important.


Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 9-13


At 45º C we reach the EOL (End of Life) in 2.000 instead of 4.600 full cycles. Samsung SDI considers the EOL of a battery to be at 80 % of its initial capacity. Nevertheless, after 400.000 km still having 80 % of the initial battery capacity isn’t bad.


Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 10-13


I’m still thinking about those 920.000 km…


Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 11-13


By cycling the battery at 60º C the EOL is reached in only two and half years.


Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 12-13


See why TMS is important?


Samsung SDI 94 Ah cell specs 13-13


In my opinion, the BMW i3 has the best EV battery, mostly because of its cells, but not only:

  • Cells disposition is what it should always be. Side by side, for better heat dissipation. Having cells on top of each other is not a good idea, the top cells will get hot and degrade faster.
  • TMS (Thermal Management System) for keeping the battery at recommended temperature is very important.
  • KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle, since it only has 96 cells all connected in series, none in parallel.


BMW i3 battery interior


Summing up, the BMW i3 has a great battery that will outlast the rest of the car. Furthermore, if we want to have sustainable electric cars we need to care about their batteries, otherwise they’ll have as much planned obsolescence built into them as ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars. Anything less than 200.000 km before reaching the EOL isn’t acceptable from an environmental point of view, and this is why TMS – among other things – are important.

And we’re done for today.


Thanks Andreas Mayer for the heads up.



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This Post Has 40 Comments

  1. Excellent.

  2. Great article, thanks.

  3. So if the 94Ah Cell is still NCM 111 how did they manage to get from 60Ah to 94Ah in the Same space?

    1. I’m not sure about the cathode chemistry in the 60 Ah battery cells. However I suspect that they have a mixed LMO/NCM cathode, just like GS Yuasa LEV50/LEV50N. That was very common at that time.

  4. There is an error on the Samsung sheet – the energy of the cell is 350 wh 🙂 (not kwh). That would be a great cell. 2 of those and you have tesla SEMI :).

    It’s the average Ah x voltage.

    1. Ahah it’s true. I didn’t notice it until you mentioned it.

  5. Nice post, thanks. The more info interview with Battery Expert Sven Bauer is also very interesting, but mostly because he’s so dramatically wrong about Tesla’s batteries. Granted it is from 2013, and a lot of people dismissed Tesla back then. He expected them to need replacement after 4 or 5 years, but we haven’t seen much of a replacement rate at all. Even Tesla’s older batteries seem to last really well.

    And now with Dr. Dahn saying they’ve achieved their longevity goals ahead of time, it just won’t be an issue for Tesla in the future.

    1. I had the same thought, the battery specs shown here look great, but the idea that Tesla has not had improvements is laughable. And as you point out even the oldest Tesla batteries are still working fine.

      Now if they can do 4,000 cycles with their battery, I think it is time for them to deliver a car with 100 kWh storage for range, speed of charging and long service life.

  6. They clearly seem to be the best batteries (or in pair with Teslas), but the car (i3), is just so “different”… why not put it in a 2,5 or 3 volume car… that shape and narrow wheels are so so strange, the back door not opening without opening the front… only 2 seats in the back…my god :(!
    Not to mention the “Premium” cost packages to have some decent equipment…
    The car is interesting technically, also driving I hear was very nice… the dashboard is nice (for me) also but the idea I get, is that BMW did not wanted to sell a lot of them – again that strange design – no sporty look, for me the soul of BMW design.

    just my 2 cents

  7. Muchas gracias por el excelente articulo Pedro Lima. Bajo mi modesto punto de vista veo bajos esa energia gravimetrica de 174wh/kg y volumetrica de 352wh/l. Por contra la durabilidad de esta celda es muy buena. Se necesitan si o si con urgencia más avances en nuevas tecnologias de celdas si no esto se va a eternizar eternamente. Estas mismas celdas prismaticas con tecnologia de electrolito solido con nuevos anodos y catodos asociados ¿Que energia gravimetrica-volumetrica se obtendria?. El futuro a corto-medio plazo del coche eléctrico depende de ello……a no ser que los coches con pila de combustible tomen el relevo.

    1. I don’t know Rafael, it’s still too early to tell.

  8. I spoke with the owner of an older i3 with diminishing range. Can anyone here confirm if i3 batteries are cooled by liquid (preferably liquid that’s cooled by the A/C system like a Fiat 500e) or just by cooled air from A/C?

    1. Yes, refrigerated within the battery box. Very sophisticated. Refer to David Bricknell’s excellent book, 3rd Ed available in kindle form.

      1. This book is a Must for every I3 owner, interested in solid technical internals.

  9. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Pedro, the units are wrong in the first table. It’s Wh not kWh. Also in NAmerica we don’t use a decimal point but a comma when referring to numbers like 100,000. Not 100.000. I think the comma is more universally understood.

    1. Thanks Splodge, I’m aware of that typo, Christian already mentioned it. I didn’t made that table, all images were taken from an internal Samsung SDI document.

      I know that it can be confusing for USA based readers, but I use the metric system and ISO/CEN recommendations since most readers are Europeans and I’m an European myself.

      The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation) both specify that “the decimal sign shall be a comma“, whatever the language. While we use periods or blank spaces to separate every third digit.

  11. Pedro, an excellent and reassuring post. Much aporeciated

  12. The amount of bullshit from this battery expert on Tesla was quite something. Not sure of it was out of ignorance or deliberate. Also no mention of Panasonic and only one of Samsung…

    Lesson: never believe anyone on anything, anytime. Checking everything twice, thrice.

  13. If you want to see interesting informations on SDI , LG and Panasonic roadmap, read this article :
    The document contains lot of details on LGChem cell, SDI next gen. cell

    The original link was removed, i extracted also few pictures on interesting data and added on this forum:

    You will see the detail for the LGChem cell, SDI, …

    1. Thanks Chris. Very detailed document. I’ll read it more slowly when I have the time.

  14. Thanks also for your interesting articles.
    You will see that a new cell is under development by LGChem with the following characterestics :
    3.67V x 65Ah with 225Wh/kg.
    As the article is publied since end of 2015, I assume that this cell was used on the Renault Zoe40 and on the Hyundai Kona
    288×3.67×65=68.7kWh with 64kWh usable : DoD 93.5%
    For Renault Zoé : 196×3.67×65 = 46.75kWh with 41kWh usable : DoD 86%

  15. I noted also this point on the report page 18, the energy density is lower 198Wh/kg for the cell 3.7x63Ah.
    We read often that the capacity for each cell is 65Ah for the Zoe based on a discussion with a LGChem worker.

    My assumption is that the chevrolet bolt use the same energy density than the 63Ah cell (198Wh/kg) but with lower capacity cell 54Ahx3.67V
    If we compare the both energy density (198Wh/kg and 225Wh/kg, we have ~13% of increase (similar to the increase of the energy density on the battery pack between the bolt and the Kona)

    225Wh/kg seems too low for NCM811

    1. In the LG Chem ESS document we see two very similar cells:

      63 Ah – 3,7 V (used in Energy module)
      64 Ah – 3,68 V (used in Power module)

      Either of these can be the 65 Ah cells the LG Chem worker was referring to, since capacity varies with temperature.

      225 Wh/kg does seem too low for NCM 811, recent NCM 622 battery cells made by AESC achieve 224 Wh/kg.

  16. Exactly, this is why i assume that the Kona is not equipped with NCM811 cells.

    We can expect a new LG pouch NCM811 with following characterestics
    81Ah / 3.7V , 1.18kg, Energy density at 254Wh/kg, dimensions 100x352x16mm.

    This cell will be interesting for the new Leaf 60kWh with a configuration 100s2p (same than new Kia soul EV)
    200×3.7×81 = 60kWh.
    The NCM811 cell will help to reduce the number of cells for a 60kWh battery (288->200).

  17. We all know the recommendation to charge the car to 80% if higher is not needed. The i3 has no such setting. Will the good quality of the cells be adversely effected by the minimum gas like idrive software the car has . It always charges it to 100%.

    1. You never charge the battery at 100%.
      The depth of discharge is always limited by BMW or other OEM : Usable battery / Full capacity
      BMW i3 60Ah : 18.8/21.8 = 86%
      BMW i3 94Ah : 27.3/33 = 83%

      The value is different from each model/OEM (DoD from 78% to 97%)
      You can compare the details for each vehicle on this thread :

      1. As the battery degrades, hopefully this 86% also reduces…buy i doubt they will reduce this , as the software looks basic, not to have any battery related settings …..

  18. BMW recommend charging to 100% every time for top end balancing. Degradation does occur especially if left with parasitic consumers. 94ah pack is heavier than 60 ah pack but fits fine. 7kw type 2 acdc charge is most efficient and better for battery life than regular slow or ccs.

    1. Is this a guess or are Data available that 7kw AC/DC charging is better than others?

    2. So u mean to charge at Max or Reduced setting for the L2 ( 7 vs 3 kw) using the car settings ?

  19. Hi! I am doing a research intern at the university on EVs and FCEVs. Could you send me the datasheet as a pdf? Do you also have other Datasheets of other EVs? I’d appreciate!
    Thanks in advance.
    Best regards

    1. Sorry Sonja, I haven’t the PDF, only the JPG files.

  20. So u mean to charge at Max or Reduced setting for the L2 ( 7 vs 3 kw) using the car settings ?

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