QuantumScape could produce solid-state batteries in the German city of Salzgitter with Volkswagen in the future. According to an agreement between the two companies, the location for the planned pilot plant with VW is to be determined this year.
According to the US battery specialist, Salzgitter is currently being considered for the pilot plant location. The plant, called QS-1, will initially have a capacity of 1 GWh, which will later be successively expanded to a total capacity of 21 GWh for series production.
Despite the announcement by its cooperation partner, Volkswagen says that no final decision has yet been made on the construction of a pilot plant for solid fuel cells in Salzgitter. “This technology of the future can only be built up in Germany with state support – because without such support Salzgitter has little chance in European and international comparison,” says a VW spokesperson. “The final decision on further steps towards a solid fuel cell pilot plant will be made in the fourth quarter at the latest.”
At QuantumScape, things sound much more optimistic. “Our goal has been to bring our solid-state lithium-metal batteries to market as soon as possible,” says Jagdeep Singh, CEO and co-founder of QuantumScape. “This joint venture brings together QuantumScape’s core battery technology with Volkswagen’s deep understanding of high-volume, high-quality production, and maximizes our ability to bring this technology into industrial production.”
Although the agreement was officially with Volkswagen Group of America, the fact that the Salzgitter site is being considered makes it clear that the group’s headquarters in Wolfsburg is the driver behind the cooperation.
Salzgitter is already a very important location for Wolfsburg’s battery plans: it is home to the pilot production facility for battery cells that will open in 2019. This project was initially driven forward with their battery partner Northvolt. After the Wolfsburg company announced at Power Day in March just passed that it would develop Salzgitter into one of the six European battery factories, it became clear that VW is now pushing ahead with the project alone. Salzgitter is also home to the pilot recycling plant for battery materials that opened in January 2021.
In February, QuantumScape announced the construction of a pilot plant called QS-0 in San José, California. At the end of March, QuantumScape announced in a stock offering that it would build a pilot plant with VW. A few weeks later, Volkswagen invested a further $100 million in the battery specialist, as QuantumScape’s cells had met contractually agreed requirements.
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