QuantumScape Will Now Sell Its Solid-State Batteries to a Fourth Carmaker

More and more carmakers are turning to QuantumScape to get solid-state batteries. Apart from Volkswagen, the solid-state platform startup mentioned it also had “a top-10 global manufacturer and an international luxury automotive company” among those willing to test its A samples. On March 1, QuantumScape said a fourth automaker joined then.
QuantumScape QS-0 plant in San Jose, California 8 photos
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In a Form 8-K submitted to the U.S. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), the startup said that it “recently signed an agreement with a fourth automotive original equipment manufacturer (“OEM”), a top-ten automaker by global revenues.” It then provided the list that contains those automakers.

Volkswagen tops the index, followed by Toyota, Daimler, Ford, Honda, General Motors, Mitsubishi, SAIC Motors, BMW, and Nissan. Stellantis would appear right behind Toyota if it was included in the list and not only received an honorable mention. Thankfully, the Form 8-K in question brings way more information to help us point to the right company. If only that were enough…

Apart from mentioning that QuantumScape and this new automaker will “collaborate on the validation and testing of Company’s solid-state battery cells,” the form states that this mysterious OEM only decided to sign this agreement after testing QuantuScape’s cells in its own labs.

The solid-state platform startup will provide its A samples to this company for it to include them in pre-production vehicles. If they achieve “satisfactory validation of certain milestones,” QuantumScape commits to reserving “at least five MWh of capacity” from the “QS-0 pre-pilot production line facility for this OEM.”

The QS-0 factory being in San Jose, California, shows that this automaker is either American or has a plant in the U.S. Apart from SAIC Motors, that’s the case for all the top-ten OEMs on the list. Not even the last piece of information there helps us decide which company is now a QuantumScape potential customer.

If everything goes as planned, QuantumScape and this new company will make a joint venture to produce solid-state cells. Such a factory will manufacture up to 50 GWh per year in batteries for the EVs this OEM intends to sell. Again, it could be anyone among the top-ten carmakers by revenue, but we can do an exercise.

At first, solid-state cells should be installed on more expensive cars. Five MWh for vehicles with 100-kWh battery packs corresponds to 50 units. In other words, QS-0 production will be for prototypes, possibly for developing a single EV.

On the other hand, the 50-GWh factory would allow this carmaker to produce 500,000 units of such an electric car. We could have even more if the battery packs were smaller than 100 kWh. That’s a massive volume. Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis could fit perfectly in the description.

We will not know which carmakers QuantumScape is talking about until they are ok to comment on that. At this point, only Volkswagen came public about its investments in the startup. Ford and GM work with other battery startups, such as Solid Power and SES, but that does not mean they have any exclusivity agreement with them. After all, we are talking about battery suppliers: those offering the best solutions at lower prices will sell more, simple as that.

QuantumScape believes its solid-state platform will be ready for production by 2025. The startup prefers to talk about a platform because it is not tied to any specific chemistry, meaning we could have an LFP cell with QuantumScape’s solid electrolyte. It seems we’ll have to wait quite a bit to learn which carmakers are associated with the startup.

 Download: QuantumScape's Form 8-K SEC Filing about a fourth carmaker wanting its solid-state batteries (PDF)


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