QuantumScape to bring solid-state batteries to market “as quickly as possible”
The US American solid-state battery specialist QuantumScape has revealed it is already “working closely with a potential launch customer from the automotive industry” for its planned first commercial product. The company has also revealed more about its solid-state battery cell.
In a letter to investors, QuantumScape, who is already partnered with Volkswagen, revealed that it has found a launch customer, although it is not yet clear whether this is Volkswagen.
In late 2022, QuantumScape shipped the first prototypes of its 24-layer solid-state cells to automakers for testing – including Volkswagen. Now the battery maker has garnered a collaboration with a potential launch partner but has not disclosed who this is and whether it will be the German carmaking giant, one of its subsidiaries or another company altogether.
The company said in its latest quarterly report that the goal of collaborating with the unnamed launch customer is to bring the technology to the electric vehicle market “as quickly as possible.”
QuantumScape believes that its technology that enables longer range, higher power and faster charging will allow automotive OEMs “gain the ability to better differentiate their EV offerings,” as it said in the letter to investors.
According to QuantumScape, the first commercial product will be a battery cell with the designation QSE-5 and a charge capacity of around 5 Ah. This is said to offer an energy density of over 800 Wh/L and can be charged from ten to 80 per cent in about 15 minutes.
The core of the further developed cells is a new cathode, in which more active cathode material is accommodated in the same area. QuantumScape most recently tested this material in two-layer cells, but the new material has not yet been introduced into the 24-layer cells. The new material is said to enable a charge of 5 mAh per square centimetre. That is more than QuantumScape’s previous cathodes (3.1 mAh/cm2) and also an improvement on “the cathodes used in commercial cells such as the 2170 battery cell (~4.3 mAh/cm2) that power some of today’s best-selling electric vehicles,” as the company says with a clear reference to the Tesla Model Y.
“We are happy to report that we have shipped high cathode-loading unit cells to multiple automotive partners, in line with our development roadmap. This is an important milestone because this level of cathode loading is close to our commercial-intent cathode design for energy-dense cells and represents a significant step toward delivering a commercial product. In our view, when combined with the 24-layer capability we have already shown in our A0 prototype cells and other planned improvements, these shipments represent a validation of our ability to achieve industry-leading energy and power performance for our first commercial product,” QuantumScape wrote in its letter to investors.
Although this sounds promising, the company also qualifies that: “Delivering on our product roadmap will undoubtedly require us to successfully address many technical and manufacturing challenges, including our key goals for 2023. However, we believe QSE-5 raises the bar for EV performance and puts battery development on a fundamentally new trajectory.”
quantumscape.com (letter to shareholders)