- ◇ Highly efficient cylinder-type battery pack of Samsung SDI will be installed in ELiTE Series, new golf car models of E-Z-GO.
- ◇ Buoyed by the strategic partnership, Samsung SDI will aggressively expand market of its lithium-ion batteries to non-IT devices, such as golf cars.
Samsung SDI makes a big push into the global golf vehicle market by supplying its cylinder-type battery packs for new golf car models of E-Z-GO, a world leading golf car brand.
Samsung SDI and Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. (TSV), a specialized vehicle manufacturer and the manufacturer of E-Z-GO, concluded on January 21, 2017 a strategic partnership contract at Pinehurst Country Club in North Carolina for supplying lithium-ion batteries to activate golf cars.
The contract signing event was attended by managements of the two companies, including Namseong Cho, President of Samsung SDI, and Kevin Holleran, Chief Executive Officer of TSV. Based on the contract, Samsung SDI will supply its high power cylinder-type lithium batteries for E-Z GO to activate ELiTE Series of electric golf cars, and to closely collaborate for technology development.
The global small battery market is expanding from information technology (IT) devices such as smart phones and laptops to non-IT areas, including power tools, golf cars and electric bicycles.
These non-IT devices have been adopting lead acid batteries, but these batteries are rapidly replaced by lithium-ion batteries to meet environmental requirements, and to achieve competitive advantage in performance and cost.
Paying attention to growth potential of golf car market that has primarily been using lead acid batteries, Samsung SDI has been concentrating efforts on developing batteries for golf cars and looking for clients since 2013.
The lithium-ion battery pack of Samsung SDI installed in E-Z-GO golf car consists of several hundreds of cylinder-type cells. Integrated with the Battery Management System that manages efficiency, temperature, level of charge and lifespan of battery, it provides safer use environment.
In addition, Samsung SDI’s lithium-ion batteries offer higher energy storage density and twice longer lifespan than traditional lead acid batteries. Compared to a lead acid battery, the lithium-ion battery is smaller in size and lighter in weight, requiring no additional management such as refilling of electrolytic solution after installation.
With these advantageous features, Samsung SDI’s lithium-ion battery draws attention as the next generation power source for golf cars as it has various strengths, including extension of operation time, reduction of weight, enhancement of energy efficiency and convenience in maintenance.
“Samsung SDI’s lithium-ion battery demonstrated outstanding performance in tests conducted over the past three years in comprehensive aspects, including its lifespan and maintenance costs,” said Michael R. Parkhurst, Vice President, Golf for TSV “Partnership between Samsung SDI and E-Z-GO is expected to innovatively transform the golf car industry.”
Performance tests of Samsung SDI’s lithium-ion batteries for golf vehicles were conducted in the Tijeras Creek Golf Club in California, which is well-known for its hilly terrain.
“In pilot tests, ELiTE golf cars installed with Samsung SDI’s lithium-ion battery could be successfully operated from 36 holes to up to 54 holes by charging once, especially showing high driving performance when moving up hills without stoppage,” said Rob Heslar, Director at Tijeras Creek Golf Club.
According to Genpact, a market research firm, global demand for golf cars is expected to increase to 214,000 in 2017, with rate of installing lithium-ion batteries dramatically increasing from 1% last year to 14% in this year. In Korea, the rate of installing lithium-ion batteries in new golf cars already exceeded 90%.
Encouraged by the contract for supplying lithium-ion batteries for E-Z-GO golf cars, Samsung SDI is considering market of its lithium-ion batteries to other specialized vehicles.
“The deal for supplying our lithium-ion batteries for E-Z-GO golf cars is very significant as it is a visible outcome in developing a new market of replacing lead acid batteries with lithium-ion batteries,” said Junyeol Youn, Executive Director for Small Battery Marketing at Samsung SDI. “We will support our clients and lead the industry by providing lithium-ion battery solutions with lengthy lifespan and high-power.”