Solid-state batteries are widely regarded as the next generation of battery cells to power the electric vehicle revolution. They offer benefits such as the potential for higher energy density (longer range), faster charging, and can be more secure.
But there have been issues getting them into mass production at a cost where they can compete with the latest lithium-ion battery cells whose cost has dropped dramatically over the past decade.
Several companies claim to solve or even have solved these problems and are now ready to invest in the mass production of these semiconductor cells.
This is generating a lot of interest from automakers looking to secure the supply of battery cells to support their electric vehicle projects.
For example, Volkswagen has invested a lot of money in Quantumscape, which aims to achieve volume production within the next three to four years.
Ford and BMW bet on Solid Power, a Colorado-based startup from a battery research program at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
BMW invested in the startup in 2017 and Ford continued its own investment in the company in 2019.
Today, Solid Power announces the close of a new investment round valued at $ 130 million led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies.
Along with this investment, BMW and Ford “expanded existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all solid-state batteries for future electric vehicles. “
They wrote in a press release:
This investment enables Solid Power to produce automotive batteries on a large scale, increase production of associated materials and expand in-house production capabilities for future vehicle integration. The BMW Group and Ford aim to use Solid Power’s low-cost, high-energy solid-state battery technology in future electric vehicles.
Doug Campbell, CEO and Co-Founder of Solid Power, commented:
BMW and Ford now share leading positions in the race for all solid-state battery electric vehicles. Solid Power now plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company’s pilot production line in early 2022, due to our partners’ continued engagement in Solid Power’s commercialization efforts.
The company said Ford and BMW are expected to use batteries from this pilot production line next year to test their own electric vehicles.
If all goes well, it will be a few more years later before they can hit volume production and get batteries into production electric vehicles.
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