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Volkswagen to Accelerate Solid-State Battery Development

Back in 2012, Volkswagen began working towards the development of solid-state batteries for its future range of electric vehicles, scheduled to flood the market from the first years of the next decade. Six years have passed since, and little progress has been announced.
Volkswagen working on solid-state battery with QuantumScape 1 photo
In 2015, three years after first announcing the partnership with California-based QuantumScape, the Germans said they bought enough stock to make them majority shareholders in the start-up. That move didn’t yield the expected results, apparently, as no major breakthrough was announced by Volkswagen.

With the year 2025 fast approaching, there’s a lot to do at Volkswagen to completely transform the automotive industry. The biggest challenge for the Germans is developing a battery that would dwarf the performances of existing ones.

Volkswagen says the battery it is working on would more than double the range of an E-Golf from 300 km to 750 km (186 to 466 miles).

As opposed lithium-ion batteries, solid-state ones use a solid electrolyte to regulate the flow of current. The working principles are the same, but using solid instead of liquid comes with an array of advantages.

Unlike the currently available lithium-ion ones, a solid-state battery has a higher energy density, enhanced safety, and better fast charging capability. It is also much smaller than current technologies used in electric vehicles.

QuantumScape's solid-state battery might be just the one VW needs, provided it gets produced. To make sure that happens, VW announced it will be taking a seat on the board of QuantumScape. It will also create a new joint-venture that would take charge of the commercialization of the said batteries.

“The solid-state battery will mark a turning point for e-mobility,” said in a statement Volkswagen executive Axel Heinrich.

“By increasing our stake in QuantumScape and forming the joint venture we strengthen and deepen our strategic cooperation with an innovative partner and secure access to the promising QuantumScape battery technology for Volkswagen.”

 

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