California-based technology company Quantumscape Corporation and Volkswagen Group are forming a joint venture for commercialisation of Quantumscape’s solid-state batteries. Volkswagen’s investment of $100 million (Rs 677 crore) will make it the enterprise’s largest automotive shareholder.
QuantumScape and Volkswagen will work together to enable an industrial level of production of solid-state batteries. One of the long-term targets is to establish a production line for solid-state batteries by 2025.
Dr Axel Heinrich, head of VW Group Research, who will take a seat on the board of directors of Quantumscape, says, “We want to accelerate the commercialisation of Quantumscape’s solid-state batteries. Volkswagen is thus taking another step toward a sustainable, zero-emission mobility for our customers in the future.”
Jagdeep Singh, CEO of Quantumscape said, “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.”
Founded in 2010, Quantumscape claims to hold approximately 200 patents and patent applications for solid-state battery technology. Heinrich said, “By increasing our stake in Quantumscape and by forming the joint venture, we strengthen and deepen our strategic cooperation with an innovative partner and secure access to the promising Quantumscape battery technology for Volkswagen.”
Quantumscape claims that a solid-state battery would increase the range of the Volkswagen E-Golf to approximately 750 kilometres compared with the present 300 kilometres. This battery technology has further advantages over the present lithium-ion technology: higher energy density, enhanced safety, better fast charging capability and – above all – they take 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. Volkswagen has claimed that they were the first ones in the industry to successfully test Quantumscape’s solid-state batteries at automotive rates of power at an early stage in Germany.
BMW Group, Dyson, Toyota, Jaguar and Fisker have all conveyed their interests in the development of solid-state batteries.