Shown above is the research center of Samsung SDI in South Korea, where the company is building its pilot production line of next-generation solid-state batteries. Photo courtesy of Samsung SDI
SEOUL, May 2 (UPI) -- South Korean battery maker Samsung SDI said Thursday it would roll out solid-state batteries early next year in its pilot production line near Seoul.
Solid-state batteries are regarded as "next-generation products," which experts point out are safer and more powerful than conventional lithium-ion batteries.
As solid-state batteries hold promise for electric vehicles and grid storage, global battery manufacturers have competed to come up with the products as soon as possible.
Samsung SDI originally noted that it would commercially launch solid-state batteries in 2027. But the pilot project is expected to accelerate the commercial launch.
"Through checking our technological viability and securing know-how for mass production, we will speed up the timing for mass production," Samsung SDI said in a conference call.
Last month, Samsung SDI started to build facilities for the pilot project, which is planned to churn out solid-state batteries in its research center in Suwon, some 20 miles south of Seoul.
"The mileage of EVs is still not so far. For EVs to become mainstream in the car industry, they need to have a similar mileage as cars with internal combustion engines," Daelim University automotive professor Kim Pil-soo told UPI News Korea.
"As solid-state batteries have higher energy density than lithium-ion batteries, they can substantially increase the EV mileage. But the related technology has been elusive to develop, which means many battery makers struggled to make advances in the field. It remains to be seen whether Samsung SDI will be able to make a breakthrough, but the pilot project is meaningful," he said.
During the first quarter this year, Samsung SDI logged sales of $3.3 billion, up 36.9% from a year ago, for an operating profit of $215 million, up 26%.
The share price of Samsung SDI went up 2.17% Friday on the South Korean stock exchange.