Slow development of QuantumScape solid-state batteries forces VW-backed startup to change plans

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Slow development of QuantumScape solid-state batteries forces VW-backed startup to change plans

QuantumScape is one of the largest players in the emerging solid electrolyte battery industry. He start up American, who is backed by the Volkswagen GroupHe has been working on this promising solution for more than ten years which, at least on paper, should allow a significant increase in the energy density of the cells and a reduction in charging times.

QuantumScape technology is based on a ceramic electrolyte (which also acts as a separator) and a lithium metal anode, which can be combined with different types of cathodes (the separator chemically isolates the anode from the cathode). The company is working on two types of batteries: LFP (lithium iron phosphate) and NCM (nickel cobalt manganese).

Despite the fact that several automotive giants have been interested in its advances, QuantumScape has realized that it takes more time to market cells for this industry than in other sectors, so in parallel, it has started looking for clients in the consumer electronics market.

deepjagsongThe CEO of the company, has indicated during a recent interview that batteries for electric vehicles continue to be one of his priorities. “We are not tacking. We remain focused on the automotive industry as the main market. From an investor’s point of view, why not? If a product can serve additional markets, why not take advantage of it?

QuantumScape Cell Design

Large-scale production, the main obstacle for QuantumScape

Because its cells have a completely new proprietary format, QuantumScape has been forced to design custom tools for your production, which will slow down your ascent. Volkswagen, which is working closely with its partners to develop these revolutionary batteries, admits that mass manufacturing will be a “challenging” step.

According to the schedule managed by Singh, by the end of 2025 they will be able to send B-cell samples to car manufacturers produced with high volume equipment. “We know we need to improve the quality, […] reliability is a key goal for any battery. It is not something that happens overnight.

Manufacturing takes a long time, largely due to the tools. When the equipment is ordered, it can take a year or two to get it tested and put into operation. As you move to more automated tools to achieve higher volumes, you not only get better performance, but it also improves the quality«.

Source | Automotive News Europe

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