The US solid-state battery cell specialist Solid Power has completed the installation of its pilot production line and plans to deliver the first cells for qualification tests to Ford and BMW before the end of this year.
The pilot line will automatically produce all-solid-state battery cells using the company’s proprietary sulphide-based solid electrolyte material. At full capacity, Solid Power’s pilot line is expected to be able to produce 300 cells per week, or about 15,000 cells per year. Mass production is earlier said to start in 2026.
“The installation of this EV cell pilot line will allow us to produce cells suitable for initiating the formal automotive qualification process,” said Solid Power CEO Doug Campbell. “In the coming quarters, we will work to bring the EV cell pilot line to full operational capability and look forward to delivering EV-scale Solid-State cells to our partners later this year.”
The company had given details of its solid-state battery platform in May 2021. This uses conventional NMC cathodes, so their production does not need to be changed. In combination with a silicon anode and a solid electrolyte, Solid Power wants to be able to build a cell that should come to a gravimetric energy density of 390 Wh/kg. If a lithium metal anode is used instead of the silicon anode, the cell (still with NCM-811 cathode) has an energy density of 440 Wh/kg.
OEM partners of Solid Power have been BMW and Ford for several years. Both carmakers also participated again in a financing round in 2021. At the time, they said they would receive 100 Ah cells for validation testing in 2022.
Solid Power is still aiming for that. 20 Ah samples are already being tested. The company says it expects to be able to optimise its cells for the range between 60 and 100 Ah. With this range, the specifications of different automotive partners should be able to be met.
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