Samsung SDI, a branch of the Galaxy phone maker, just announced a new battery cell that could change the face of electric vehicles (EVs) and turn them into more practical purchases for consumers.
Its new high-energy density battery cell has a driving range of up to 600km (372 miles), Samsung SDI says, and can fast charge EVs in 20 minutes. This rapid charge power is particularly impressive - just 20 minutes at a charging station gives drivers up to 500km (310 miles) of range, or 80% of the battery's capacity.
By comparison, Tesla's superchargers can stock a car's battery to 273km/170 miles after about 30 minutes at a station.
Lack of quick charging is often cited as an issue with EVs, especially on highways. As Samsung SDI notes, a 20-minute pit stop off the expressway would get drivers back on the road more quickly and eliminate anxiety they could run out of power before reaching the next place to plug in.
Unfortunately, mass production of the Samsung battery cell won't start until 2021, but that should be right in time for the next generation of EVs, including ones with self-driving capabilities.
Car makers everywhere are making strides in improving electric car charging. Ford announced during last week's CES 2017 show that it's trialling parking spaces that double as charging ports, letting EVs pull in and begin juicing up without the need to plug in. General Motors is also working on wireless charging for electric cars.
Tesla aims to get its supercharger time down to 5-10 minutes, as reported by TechCrunch, and has been working to increase charging stations' output.
As for today's news, Samsung SDI's battery innovation could improve one of the most fundamental aspects of driving an EV, and make buying one a far more appealing proposition to consumers.