Volkswagen bets $100m on solid state batteries
Volkswagen Group Research has been collaborating closely with the Stanford spin-off since 2012 and the deal makes VW the largest shareholder after an initial 5% investment in 2014. The deal will lead ot a joint venture that will commercialise the technology, setting up a production line for solid-state batteries by 2025.
“We want to accelerate the commercialization of QuantumScape’s solid-state batteries and we combine forces to leverage Volkswagen’s experience as a production specialist and QuantumScape technology leadership,” said Dr. Axel Heinrich, Head of VW Group Research, who will also take a seat on the board of directors of QuantumScape. “Volkswagen is thus taking another step toward a sustainable, zero emission mobility for our customers in the future.”
QuantumScape is headquartered in San José, California and holds approximately 200 patents and patent applications for solid-state battery technology. Volkswagen has successfully tested early stage QuantumScape solid-state battery sample cells in Germany running at automotive rates of power.
“Volkswagen is the world’s largest automotive manufacturer and leads the industry in its commitment to electrification of its fleet,” said Jagdeep Singh, CEO of QuantumScape. “We think the higher range, faster charge times, and inherent safety of QuantumScape’s solid-state technology will be a key enabler for the next generation of electrified powertrains.”
A solid-state battery would increase the range of the E-Golf to approximately 750 kilometers compared with the present 300 kilometers with fast charging capability and taking up significantly less space. A solid-state battery of the same size as a current battery package can achieve a range comparable to that of conventional vehicles.
Car makers are positioning themselves for solid state battery technologies from a range of suppliers, while some such as Fisker are developing their own.