Car Industry

VW whips out its wallet, makes it rain on solid-state battery tech

Volkswagen is investing $100 million in QuantumScape, a leading Silicon Valley solid-state battery developer.

Most of the major players in the electric vehicle game are in a race to develop solid-state battery technology, since it will give the victor a massive advantage in weight and power density. We're seeing companies throw lavish amounts of money at the nascent technology, either through partnerships or acquisitions. The latest to do this is Volkswagen with a huge $100 million investment in California company called QuantumScape.

QuantumScape comes out of Stanford and currently holds more than 200 patents for solid-state battery technologies. Together with Volkswagen, which also secured a seat on QuantumScape's board of directors, the company wants to have a production-ready solid-state battery by 2025.

Volkswagen's investment in QuantumScape, if it comes to fruition, could double the range of a car like the e-Golf.

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"Volkswagen is the world's largest automotive manufacturer and leads the industry in its commitment to electrification of its fleet," says Jagdeep Singh, CEO of QuantumScape. "We are thrilled to be chosen by Volkswagen to power this transition.  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."

Why is so much money being poured into solid-state battery technology? Well, as we mentioned previously, solid-state batteries would, in theory, be significantly more energy dense than current battery technologies; around twice as much so. It would also allow for much faster charging than is presently possible, even with high-current DC chargers like Tesla's Superchargers.

Many in the industry see solid-state batteries as being the key to making electric vehicles genuinely mainstream by removing many of the inconveniences that currently keep internal combustion engines at the forefront in the minds of US consumers.

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