BMW and Ford have taken part as prime investors in Solid Power’s series B investment round totaling $130M. Beside the two auto manufacturers Volta Energy Technologies also invested in an undisclosed amount. Solid Power is a U.S. based start-up specialized in solid-state battery development, established in 2012 as a spin-off company from the University of Colorado Boulder.
According to Solid Power “The investment positions Solid Power to produce full-scale automotive batteries, increase associated material output and expand in-house production capabilities for future vehicle integration. The BMW Group and Ford aim to utilize Solid Power’s low-cost, high-energy all solid-state battery technology in forthcoming electric vehicles.”
Solid Power plans to start the production of automotive-scale all-solid-state batteries on its pilot production line in early 2022. Comments from BMW suggests the Bavarian based company will demonstrate a vehicle equipped with the battery technology “well before 2025”. According to Reuters, Peter Lamp, BMW’s battery cell technology chief expects Solid Power’s in house manufacturing capabilities to supply mass-produce all-solid-state batteries for EVs only possible by the end of the decade.
Car manufacturers and their suppliers are eager to bring an automotive-graded all-solid-state battery to the mass market, Toyota one of the biggest contender on the this field owns more than 1000 patents related to solid-state batteries. The Japanese car maker plans to equip its BEVs with solid-state batteries in early this decade at latest 2025 and showing up its prototype next year.
Solid-state battery is the next generation step in battery technology promising more safety, shorter charging time and multiple energy density. All-solid-state batteries contain a nonflammable solid electrolyte between the two electrodes.
This is an essential safety feature for the future of the auto industry as the source of its momentum gradually replaced by electricity.
Unlike the promise of solid-state batteries conventional Li-Ion batteries are inherently exposed to catch fire its latest proof was seen in the latest Tesla crash took place in Spring, Texas, where a Model S has completely burned out with two passengers on board.
Mobile industry is also trying to develop solid-state batteries for its own purposes. It would open the possibilities to design thinner handsets with more safety and longer battery life. Murata, the Japanese electronic component maker specialized in MLCCs, said at the company’s earnings announcement to mass-produce all-solid-state batteries in fall and will be capable of manufacture 100,000 batteries a month. Murata has developed the battery for wearable devices using an oxide for the electrolyte. This type of solid-state battery is unable to used for large-capacity, high-output application like in electric vehicles.
Despite Murata’s all-solid-state battery technology is not suitable to be the energy source of an electric vehicle its innovation value contributes the knowledge pool of the electronics industry has about all-solid-state batteries.