Samsung SDI drops fuel cells, will concentrate on batteries

Samsung SDI High-performance 18650 battery

Battery giant Samsung SDI has announced that it will completely exit the fuel cell business in order to concentrate on battery-based energy storage.

“Samsung SDI decided to drop fuel cell-related business projects, as the outlook of the market isn’t good,” a company spokesman told the Korea Times.

The move is part of a strategy to drop unprofitable lines of business. The company recently shed chemical and plasma display panel divisions. “We should burn fat in our tissues and bulk up muscles to win from heated competition with our chief rivals,” CEO Cho Nam-Seong told employees in January.

Samsung SDI developed fuel cells for notebooks based on methanol in 2005. However, demand never materialized, as lithium-ion batteries turned out to be more usable, affordable and efficient.

Unnamed industry sources told the Korea Times that Samsung will sell its fuel cell patents and equipment to Kolon Industries for “a few million dollars.”

“The money that will be saved from the sale of the fuel cell business will be used to boost energy solution-related businesses such as batteries for EVs and energy storage systems,” said an official.

Samsung SDI plans to invest more than 3 trillion won (about $2.5 billion) in batteries for EVs and related parts over the next five years.

 

Source: Korea Times