Samsung SDI 120 Ah battery cells

Specifications of the Samsung SDI 120 Ah battery cell for electric vehicles

The latest BMW i3 is powered by a battery pack with Samsung SDIs 120 Ah cells. Initially, Samsung offered 60 Ah battery cells, followed by 94 Ah until reaching 120 Ah in the 2019 model. The 120 Ah version can then be considered as the third generation of this battery cell, as the dimensions stayed the same. All generations comply with the VDA standard “BEV2”.

Samsung calls increasing the capacity of the cell while maintaining the same form factor and cell dimensions a “sustainable design”, as a higher density can be achieved while retaining the complete battery pack design.

Capacity increase while maintaining battery cell dimensions (Source: Samsung SDI)

Application of Samsung SDIs 120 Ah cells in current EVs

The 120 Ah battery cell is currently used in the newest release of the BMW i3.

  • Battery pack voltage: 352 V
  • Energy content (gross / net). 42.2 kWh / 37.9 kWh
  • Thermal management: Liquid cooling
  • Cell connection: 96s (no parallel cells)
BMW i3 120 Ah
BMW i3 120 Ah (2018/2019)

120 Ah Samsung SDI specifications

  • Rated voltage: 3.7 V
  • Nominal capacity: 120 Ah
  • Weight: kg
  • Specific energy: Wh/kg
  • Material: NCM622
  • Cell type: prismatic

Battery cost forecast for Samsung SDI by battery generations

BNP Paribas published a report in 2015, where they estimated the cost per kWh based on the BMW i3 (who is the main automotive client). As the estimates were made ca. 5 years ago, a reality check as of today would be necessary. For the 120 Ah cell, BNP estimated a cell cost of 117 USD per kWh, which is a 44% reduction.

The interesting part is the roadmap of Samsung where they planned to upgrade their cells to 150 Ah. As of today (2020), we have not received any information on this upgrade in the BMW i3. Furthermore, there were discussions if a 160 Ah cell from CATL could be introduced in the BMW i3. This could be a natural move, as the new BMW iX3 is in production in China with cells by the Chinese battery giant. However, we believe that BMW will stick with Samsung SDI for the BMW i3 until its phase-out.

Samsung SDI might introduce a 150 Ah battery cell in 2021. We will update this post in case of new information.

Gen 1 (~2015)Gen 2 (2016E)Gen 3 (2018E)Gen 4 (2020E)Gen 5 (2023E)
No of cells9696969696
Cell Volt3.
Cell Ah6094120150180
Cell Wh222348444555666
Pack kWh2133435364
Total battery pack price (USD)61805856547251844800
Price per kWh2941771279775
Price per cell6461575450
Total battery pack cost92526987497945034224
Cost per kWh4402111158466
Cost per cell9673524744
Samsung SDI battery forecast by generation

Interesting in buying used Samsung SDI battery modules?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post

Profits of Samsung SDI rise to 61.6% YoY, and revenue 20.2% in Q3/2020

Next Post

EV battery cell standards and dimensions

Related Posts