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QuantumScape Presents Its Proprietary Format: a Hybrid of Pouch and Prismatic Cells

QuantumScape has been promising to present not only a solid-state platform that will work with any lithium-ion chemistry. It also stated that it would have a proprietary format that would have to work with its technology. The company just did that after disclosing its Q3 2022 letter to shareholders. Its A-sample cells come with 24 layers and an interesting hybrid concept of the pouch and prismatic cells.
This is the proprietary format developed by QuantumScape for its solid-state batteries: a mix of prismatic and pouch cells 11 photos
QuantumScape fast charged test cells 400 times at 4C and they were still okQuantumScape fast charged test cells 400 times at 4C and they were still okQuantumScape fast charged test cells 400 times at 4C and they were still okQuantumScape fast charged test cells 400 times at 4C and they were still okQuantumScape fast charged test cells 400 times at 4C and they were still okQuantumScape tested the Panasonic 2170 Li-ion cell and it lasted onlyQuantumScape fast charged test cells 400 times at 4C and they were still okQuantumScape fast charged test cells 400 times at 4C and they were still okQuantumScape fast charged test cells 400 times at 4C and they were still okThis is the proprietary format developed by QuantumScape for its solid-state batteries: a mix of prismatic and pouch cells
While pouch cells work with a flexible shell, prismatic cells are inserted in rigid ones – just like cylindrical batteries. What QuantuScape designed is a prismatic cell with one “flexible outer layer of metalized polymer” that helps the battery deal with the expansion of the layers due to lithium plating to form the anodes in these lithium metal cells.

According to QuantumScape, the flexible cell face sits around 1 millimeter inside the battery frame when it is fully discharged – and presents no anode. When fully charged, the flexible face expands and sits flush with the frame. In other words, when the lithium forms the anode in each of the 24 layers these A-sample cells present, they add only 1 mm to the battery. We expected it to expand much more than that.

The battery startup said that this new format is ideal for dealing with the “uniaxial expansion and contraction” that lithium metal cells present. Apart from that, the new format factor also helps to “dissipate excess heat during fast charging, function with or without externally applied pressure, keep manufacturing and pack integration simple,” and “deliver good packaging efficiency, enabling the technology to achieve our cell-level energy density targets.”

These A-samples QuantumScape is creating are part of what the company calls a campaign – “the process of making and preparing cells for delivery to customers.” They will only reach QuantumScape’s first customers when the company has “gathered data that establishes confidence in the performance of finished cells.”

Apart from its new cell format, the solid-state platform startup said it has started sending single-layer samples to consumer electronics manufacturers. QuantumScape has a focus on the automotive sector, but it believes consumer electronics will also benefit from its technology.

Finally, the company said it signed a deal with Volkswagen to remove the time constraint for site selection to building QS-1, its first factory. It was supposed to be in Germany, but now QuantumScape said it could either be there or in the U.S. The explanation for that may be the energy crisis Germany is facing. Building a factory there that may sit idle because it has no gas or electricity does not make any sense. The Inflation Reduction Act may have made the U.S. an even better option.

 Download: QuantumScape's Q3 2022 letter to stakeholders (PDF)

 
 
 
 
 

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