BMW and Ford among investors in Solid Power solid-state battery technology

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Solid Power, a producer of all-solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, has secured a US$130m Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies. Ford and the BMW Group have also expanded their existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all-solid-state batteries for future electric vehicles.

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.

“BMW and Ford now share leading positions in the race for solid-state battery-powered electric vehicles,” said Doug Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Solid Power. “Solid Power now plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company’s pilot production line in early 2022 as a result of our partners’ continued commitment to Solid Power’s commercialization efforts.”

Solid Power says it has demonstrated its ability to produce and scale next-generation all-solid-state batteries that are designed to power longer-range, lower-cost, safer electric vehicles using existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure. The company has already delivered hundreds of production-line-produced battery cells that were validated by Ford and BMW Group late last year, formalizing Solid Power’s commercialization plans with its two long-standing automotive partners.

“Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that’s why we’re investing directly,” said Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of electrification subsystems and power supply research. “By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, we’ll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for customers and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes.”

“Being a leader in advanced battery technology is of the utmost importance for the BMW Group. The development of all-solid-state batteries is one of the most promising and important steps toward more efficient, sustainable and safe electric vehicles. We now have taken our next step on this path with Solid Power,” added Frank Weber, member of the board of management for development at BMW. “Together we have developed a 20Ah [ampere hour]all-solid-state cell that is absolutely outstanding in this field. Over the past 10 years BMW has continuously increased its battery cell competence. Important partners like Solid Power share our vision of zero-emission mobility.”

Solid Power is currently producing 20Ah multi-layer all-solid-state batteries on its continuous roll-to-roll production line, which utilizes industry-standard lithium-ion production processes and equipment. Both Ford and the BMW Group will receive full-scale 100Ah cells for automotive qualification testing and vehicle integration beginning in 2022.

Dr Jeff Chamberlain, CEO of Volta Energy Technologies – a venture capital firm spun out of the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, focused on investing in breakthrough energy storage and battery innovations – concluded, “The fact that Solid Power is already producing multi-layer all-solid-state batteries using industry-standard automated commercial manufacturing equipment is why Volta is excited to ramp up its earlier investment. The company’s partnership with BMW and Ford will further accelerate the full commercialization of Solid Power’s batteries and position both car companies to be among the first to have EVs on the road powered by safer, affordable, high-energy solid-state batteries.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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