The cold is becoming less and less of a threat to electric cars. It's true that battery performance declines when temperatures drop, but technology is advancing and, in the future, fluctuations in range and recharging speed will be less subject to weather conditions.

The 2024 edition of Interbattery, an industry exhibition held in Seoul, provided an interesting insight into the industry and the progress made over the past period. Among the most interesting innovations on show in Korea were the new LFP batteries from SK On, a company that supplies Ford, Volkswagen and Hyundai, but let's take a step back and look at them in order.

SK On in full LFP

An LFP battery placed at -20C degrees loses an average of 70% of its capacity. At Seoul, however, SK On presented an LFP battery called 'Winter Pro', whose sub-zero charging capacity has been improved by 16%.

Une cellule en poche avec la chimie LFP de SK On

SK On also presented another LFP battery whose energy density has been increased by 19% and which recharges faster than the one that was marketed in 2021. It now takes 15 minutes to reach 80% instead of 18.

According to Youngmoon Riew, vice president of business planning, SK On is already in talks with several carmakers to supply both the new 'improved' LFP battery and the Winter Pro battery.

Samsung focuses on solid state

While SK On has concentrated its efforts on lithium iron phosphate in order to offer the market low-cost but high-performance batteries, Samsung SDI has adopted a different strategy. The Korean company, which is already working with Stellantis and General Motors to build Gigafactories in the United States, is betting on solids.

La batterie à semi-conducteurs Samsung SDI

Yooho Choi, CEO of Samsung SDI, has a clear idea:

"We need a generational leap to give a decisive acceleration to the spread of electric cars. Lithium-ion battery technologies are almost mature and the improvements we will see in this area over the next few years will be marginal".

This is why Samsung wants to accelerate the development of solid-state technology, in order to bring to market products with a much higher energy density and a much higher charging speed. The aim is to mass-produce this type of battery from 2027.

Samsung SDI is aiming to offer batteries that can be recharged in 9 minutes from 2026 and have a lifespan of 20 years by 2029.