Driving toward solid state batteries

Departments - Electric Drive

Ford and BMW will get access to Solid Power solid-state batteries some time in 2022, thanks to a supply agreement tied to the companies’ $130 million investment in the battery company.

June 16, 2021

Eliminating liquid electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries could dramatically lower weights, improving energy density and available power for future electric vehicles (EVs). In addition, solid-state batteries eliminate the biggest risk in lithium – short circuits caused by crystalline growth that can puncture battery cell walls, leading to fires and explosions. Automakers and technology companies are investing millions into developing automotive-grade solid-state systems, and some recent developments include: Ford, BMW, other investors pump $130 million into Solid Power The Colorado-based battery developer plans to have a test plant producing cells by early 2022. The $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Co., and Volta Energy Technologies includes expansions of joint development agreements with Ford and BMW to secure all solid-state batteries for future EVs.

“BMW and Ford now share leading positions in the race for all solid-state battery-powered electric vehicles,” says Doug Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Solid Power. “Solid Power now plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company’s pilot production line in early 2022.”

Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research, says dedicating less space to bulky batteries will allow automakes to “increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for customers, and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes.” 

https://www.bmwgroup.com; https://www.ford.com; https://solidpowerbattery.com

QuantumScape clears tech hurdle for $100 million VW investment QuantumScape Corp. met a technical milestone set by Volkswagen (VW), a condition of the planned $100 million investment. VW made the investment contingent on the automaker successfully testing QuantumScape’s latest solid-state lithium-metal cells in their labs in Germany. With the milestone reached, VW’s investment in QuantumScape is set to double to $200 million.

Frank Blome, head of the VW Group’s Center of Excellence Battery Cell, says, “We look forward to receiving and testing subsequent generations of cells, with the goal of getting solid-state technology into series production.” 

https://www.quantumscape.com; https://www.volkswagenag.com