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Samsung SDI logs record battery R&D spending in 2020

Samsung SDI President Jun Young-hyun (Samsung SDI)
Samsung SDI President Jun Young-hyun (Samsung SDI)


Samsung SDI spent a record 808.3 billion won ($710.2 million) on research and development for next-generation electric vehicle batteries in 2020.

According to its annual report, released Tuesday, the amount was 7.2 percent of its revenue last year.

“The investment is the seed of Samsung SDI’s future growth engine as the company prepares for the upcoming era of electric vehicles,” a company official said.

This is the first time that Samsung SDI’s battery R&D spending has surpassed the 800 billion won mark. The company allocated 604.8 billion won, or 6.6 percent of its total revenue, for battery R&D in 2018 and raised it to 712.6 billion won or 7.1 percent in 2019.

Samsung SDI is preparing to launch an advanced lithium-ion battery in the second half of this year that will contain 88 percent nickel.

Last year, the company made progress in silicon anode technology. When silicon is added to anodes, which are made of graphite, the batteries become more powerful. Currently, the level of silicon in its anodes stands at 5 percent. Silicon can accommodate more lithium ions, but can also cause anodes to swell.

The Samsung Group affiliate is also pushing for solid-state batteries, aiming to begin their mass production in 2027. Solid-state batteries, which use solid materials instead of liquid, have various advantages: They are lighter, last longer and have greater resistance to fire.

By Kim Byung-wook (kbw@heraldcorp.com)
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