Lucid Motors has partnered up with Samsung SDI. The latter will be supplying the start up company with lithium-ion batteries that the two companies boast will outperform what is currently available on the market. The terms of the deal was no disclosed but it follows Lucid Motor's announcement last week to open a factory in Casa Grande, Arizona. The new factory will cost roughly $700 million dollars and is expected to employ up to 2000 workers. Their plan is to produce cars capable of 1000 horsepower by 2018. Chief technology officer Peter Rawlinson also said they plan to offer at least one variant model to operate 400 miles on one single charge.
The joint partnership worked together to develop the next generation cylindrical power cells. Until recently, Tesla was the forerunner in battery technology for electric vehicles due to their innovative small format cylindrical lithium-ion cells while the rest of the market and industry was stuck with large format prismatic cells. One of the biggest challenge of these small cells which Tesla employs was the cells themselves would produce a lot of thermal heat and would require a large amount of cooling. Samsung SDI and Lucid claim their new batteries "exceed current performance benchmarks in areas such as energy density, power, calendar life and safety. Significantly this jointly developed cell achieves breakthrough tolerance to repeated fast charging."
This is not the first time battery suppliers are partnering up with automakers to develop electric cars. The current trend is to compete to see which supplier and automaker can develop the most advanced battery cell in terms of cost, efficiency and power which in turn will make electric cars more attractive to consumers. Recent partnerships include LG Chem's and General Motors which lead to the new Chevrolet Bolt - a mass produced market electric vehicle which at the cost of $40,000 which could provide 238 miles on a single charge. While Panasonic has worked closely with Tesla Motors and in the main battery supplier for its Model S sedan, Model X SUV and the upcoming Model 3 which has received over three hundred-thousand preorders. Tesla is currently the face of the electric car. In August they announced a new 100-kilowatt-hour battery that enabled their vehicles greater distance on a single charge and provided more power for acceleration. Tesla achieved this by not reinventing a new battery cell or the chemistry itself but remodeled their vehicles' architecture around the cell to provide it with a better cell cooling system and rearranged all the electronics within.