Yes but it would be a lot of links. Market research.
They obviously didn’t release a statement saying “we are transitioning to low cost, high capacity EV cells”. It’s just apparent if you know a little bit about the industry and look at recent decisions and investments made by Samsung SDI and statements they have released.
Here’s a few of them. Draw your own conclusions.
Samsung inked a 10 year, $33 billion contract with Posco Chemical to supply high nickel (over 91% nickel) cathodes, and high silicon anodes. Samsung plans to increase nickel content to 94% in coming years. Previously the highest nickel cathodes were 88%. This is a huge cost savings compared to cobalt and manganese, and higher capacity, but lower safety and so lower power output. Silicon can create higher capacity than is physically possible with graphite, but has problems with swelling and cycle life they are hoping to be able to minimize.
They are following CATL’s lead of making prismatic EV batteries through the stacking method vs the traditional winding. This maximizes energy density in a small package. The downside traditionally has been slower production due to the need for a seperate notching line, and high initial investment. Samsung has made these investments and has integrated stacking and notching into one line for increased efficiency. They are also working on dry electrolytes so they can skip the solvent drying phase of production in the hope of speeding up the process and putting more cells out faster.
Samsung has agreed to a partnership (just this week actually) with GM to build a $3.8 billion plant in the US that will be exclusively supplying batteries for GM’s EVs.
They’re also breaking ground later this year on a new $2.5 billion plant in Kokomo, Indiana, in partnership with the Dutch automaker Stellanis, on another new battery plant to initially produce 23 gigawatt hours of prismatic cells a year, hoping to ramp up to 33gwh shortly after. Again, exclusively for the EV market.
They are also producing Tesla’s huge 4680(46800) cells and also will release a 46900 and 461200(is that the right way to list a cell that’s 120mm long? No idea), again exclusively for the EV market.
They’re also building a second battery plant in Malaysia, a $1.3 billion factory for mass production of their “PRiMX” line of 21700’s. I don’t believe details are clear on the specs of these “PRiMX” 21700 cells yet, which are currently being manufactured and tested in China, but it’s somewhat of a red flag that Samsung refuses to put the Samsung name on these 21700s and decided to create the PRiMX label for them instead.
They are also partnering with BMW (their single biggest customer) to add a 3rd $1.5 billion EV battery plant in Göd, Hungary, on top of the two EV battery plants they already have in the city, with the 3rd plant to produce cells exclusively for BMW.
In the 15 years Samsung has been making lithium ion batteries they claim they’ve made 7 billion cells, of all types, total. They’re currently making >1 billion a year and all the plants mentioned above aren’t even open yet. Their strategy has always been quality over quantity, refusing to compromise on price. And in that time they went from the biggest manufacturer to barely making the top 10, losing market share to companies with 1/10th the resources and 1/1000th the industry experience just because they could supply EVs faster and cheaper. With that strategy starting to look like maybe not the best one for the long term they appear to be making some changes lately.