Samsung SDI Abandons Fuel Cell Development

Samsung SDI says it is ridding itself of all money losing ventures to focus on doing what it does best — building world class batteries for the electronics and automotive sectors. That focus has led to a decision to abandon its fuel cell development program entirely. According to a spokesman for the company, “Samsung SDI decided to drop fuel cell related business projects, as the outlook of the market isn’t good.”

Samsung SDI is dropping its fuel cell division to concentrate on batteries

Samsung will sell all of its fuel cell related equipment for a “few million dollars,” he said. That money will then be re-invested in divisions the company considers essential to its future success, including battery development. Starting last year, Samsung began to close all its unprofitable divisions. That includes its chemical division and plasma display program. Samsung SDI is now focused almost exclusively on batteries for electric cars, EV-related parts, and general purpose lithium ion batteries.

A report in Korea Times says, “Samsung SDI plans to invest more than $2.5 billion in batteries for EVs and the EV-related parts businesses over the next five years in what the company believes is enough to become the world’s top battery supplier by 2020.”

Samsung brought an array of advanced batteries to the Detroit auto show earlier this year. It says it expects to have a battery with more than 300 miles of range available in a few years. It is also heavily involved in the market for 48 volts battery systems that will allow conventional cars to achieve significant fuel economy gains for less than it costs to build a fully electric car. Such low voltage hybrid systems are expected to play an important role as the transportation industry transitions to a carbon free future.

48 volt systems do not require heavy and expensive shielding the way traditional batteries with high voltage batteries do. That saves manufacturers both weight and money. The 48 volt systems can handle such chores as operating air conditioning compressors, oil pumps, water pumps, electric steering systems as well as other auxiliary devices. That puts less load on engines, lowering emissions and boosting fuel economy. Look for more 48 volts systems in passenger cars in the near future.

Source: Inside EVs


Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.