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Ford and BMW Are Now Partners in Chasing Solid-State Batteries

For car manufacturers who are clearly steering towards an electric future, solid state batteries and the promise of lighter, cheaper and more capable hardware for EVs are the promised land. One that will not be easy to reach, and will require from time to time the most unexpected of partnerships.
Solid Power solid-state batteries 1 photo
Ford and BMW are two of the companies currently chasing solid-state batteries. Although they do this on their own, neither shies away from backing other specialized companies in the hopes of getting access to a solution a lot faster.

Solid Power is one of the most advanced companies in this field. The American company is already manufacturing 20-ampere hour multi-layer all solid-state, sulfide-based batteries, but will soon have to transition to something a bit more potent, thanks to a $130 million Series B investment round made by the BMW Group, Ford and Volta Energy Technologies.

Because of the investment, Ford and BMW have now become equal equity owners in Solid Power, and each will appoint on the board of the American company their own representatives. Furthermore, both will receive from Solid Power “full-scale 100 Ah cells for automotive qualification testing and vehicle integration” as soon as next year.

Separately from this joint development, both Ford and BMW will pursue their own goals with Solid Power, developing and testing other battery technologies that meet the requirements of their respective vehicle projects.

This week’s announcement involving Solid Power is only the latest in the field of battery technology coming from the two car companies.

Last month, the Blue Oval announced the creation of a dedicated campus (Ion Park) for the development of electric vehicle batteries, while the Bavarians announced they are working on battery cells with a higher density energy as part of the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) program.

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