Samsung Vs LG Again: The Race To Win Battery Clients In Korea

Today, developments in the direction of new technologies are observed in all fields. The same goes for batteries, following the trend that large companies are moving towards cylindrical or hollow batteries from pouch-type or prismatic batteries. This change is attributed to the fact that prismatic batteries are cheaper and safer, as they do not catch fire easily.  

Currently, there are three major players in the industry in Korea, namely Samsung SDI, LG Energy Solutions, and SK On, with the last one not manufacturing cylindrical-type batteries. This causes the rivalry between the former two to play out. 

The Cylindrical Batteries;

These batteries are 46mm in diameter, and their rumoured height is 80mm, a 4680-type increase in energy density five times and output six times, resulting in a cost reduction of up to 50%. Also, rumours suggest possibly producing a 40-60 mm type battery.

  • As electric vehicles grow in popularity, industry pioneers like Tesla and BMW are moving towards cylindrical batteries. 
  • This will lead to competition between LG Energy Solutions and Samsung SDI, two of South Korea’s top battery manufacturers, which are also competing for the EV camera modules for the same company in the longer run.

LG & Tesla ;

Tesla already declared that it’ll utilize the “4680” round and hollow battery, and LG is one of Tesla’s main battery providers. 

In mid-June, LG said it’ll spend around 580 billion won ($440 million) on building cylindrical battery lines in its Ochang plant in North Chungcheong to create 4680 battery cells yearly of 9 gigawatt-hours. 

The battery will be supplied to Tesla in the next half of the year. The company purchased an additional site in Ruler Rivulet, Arizona, to build an 11 gigawatt-hour plant for round and hollow core batteries. The company bought a location in Ruler Rivulet, Arizona, to build an 11-gigawatt-hour plant for round and hollow batteries. It initially said the company would add up to 1.7 trillion won within the plant, despite an undisclosed and under consideration investment budget.

SDI & Tesla;

Industry reviewers say BMW could be a customer for Samsung SDI cylindrical-type batteries. 

“Although Samsung SDI is still undecided on the height, it is certain that the company is targeting Tesla, the No. 1 electric vehicle manufacturer with a rival in the global market.” 

-Lee Ho-Geun, professor of engineering at Daeduk University. 


Samsung SDI CEO Choi and Samsung Electrics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-Yong held an assembly with Oliver Zipse, chairman of BMW, as Samsung SDI is building an office for the pilot generation of 4680 round and hollow batteries in its Cheonan plant in South Chungcheong. 

There are also plans for further investment in the Seremban plant in Malaysia is ongoing, although no details have been announced. 

“Due to later fire issues with the pouch-type batteries, round and hollow batteries are regaining attention,” It will be another enormous thing within the EV battery industry for a while.” 

-Lee, professor at Daeduk university.

Currently, SDI or Samsung Digital Interface is supplying prismatic batteries to BMW, which will switch to supplying cylindrical batteries as Lee visited BMW representatives in early June for an agreement to supply batteries for BMW

Samsung has also pushed its SDI subsidiary to promote the development of cylindrical batteries and, in addition to its other subsidiaries, to conduct research on electric vehicles.

Future predictions;

If we base predictions on SNE Investigate research, then by 2022, cylindrical batteries will account for 19% of the global electric vehicle battery market, which is expected to reach 26% by 2030. 

However, at the same time, the market share of the type of prismatic battery will fall from 55% to 43%. 

Stellaris NV and Samsung SDI (Samsung Digital Interface) also announced that they would establish an electric vehicle battery production facility in Kokomo, Indiana, USA. The plant aims to have an initial annual production capacity of 23 gigawatt hours (GWh), expected to increase by 33 GWh over the next few years with an investment of more than 2.5 billion USD and can gradually increase to 3.1 billion USD.