QuantumScape’s solid-state batteries pass latest test, could offer 500,000 km without range loss


QuantumScape’s solid-state batteries pass latest test, could offer 500,000 km without range loss

One year after initial deliveries of solid-state battery prototypes to its automotive partners, QuantumScape is receiving additional praise from PowerCo – the battery-centric subsidiary of Volkswagen Group – for the potential of its technology. PowerCo recently completed an endurance test with QuantumScape’s solid-state cells and determined they can someday power EVs that can drive 500,000 kilometers with virtually no loss of range.

QuantumScape ($QS) is an advanced battery technology company that has been working for over a decade to develop scalable, energy-dense solid-state battery cells that can one-day power EVs that are safer, charge faster, and drive farther.

During QuantumScape’s tenure in solid-state battery development, Volkswagen Group has been a partner from early on and remains one of the startup’s largest investors. OEMs like Volkswagen have helped empower QuantumScape to continue its development and deliver some of the most promising solid-state battery technology in the industry.

In December 2022, the company delivered its first batch of 24-layer solid-state cells to its automotive partners for testing – including Volkswagen Group and others. We’ve since seen QuantumScape develop even more energy-dense cells and, as of October 2023, exceeded performance targets during testing.

Recently, Volkswagen Group’s battery subsidiary PowerCo completed its own endurance tests with QuantumScape’s 24-layer cells and is reporting encouraging results for future EVs that will offer better range with significantly less battery degradation.

QuantumScape Q3
A mockup of QuantumScape’s QSE-5 solid-state cell with FlexFrame / Credit: QuantumScape

VW Group pleased with QuantumScape’s SSB range

According to a report from PowerCo, it has officially confirmed performance metrics previously shared by QuantumScape, bringing longer-range EVs even closer to scaled implementation. The battery company under the VW Group umbrella detailed its endurance testing process, which took place over several months at its laboratory in Salzgitter, Germany, and put the solid-state cells through over 1,000 charge cycles.

The result was a battery that maintained over 95% of its original capacity. Based on that data, PowerCo states that an EV with a WLTP range of 500-600 km (311-373 mi) equipped with the QuantumScape cells can drive approximately 500,000 km (~311,000 miles) without any noticeable loss of total range.

While the industry-standard targets for solid-state cells in this stage of development are 700 charging cycles and a maximum capacity loss of 20%, PowerCo states that QuantumScape’s solid-state cell blew past those expectations, confirming the developer’s own results outlined in its Q3 letter to shareholders. The energy-dense cells also met or exceeded other test criteria like fast-charging capabilities, safety, and self-discharge. PowerCo CEO Frank Blome spoke:

These are very encouraging results that impressively underpin the potential of the solid-state cell. The final result of this development could be a battery cell that enables long ranges, can be charged super-quickly and practically does not age. We are convinced of the solid-state cell and are continuing to work at full speed with our partner QuantumScape towards series production.

PowerCo shared that its unified cell concept design developed for Volkswagen Group is already suitable to house QuantumScape’s solid-state cell technology. The next step will be to perfect and scale the manufacturing processes as both companies look toward scaled solid-state battery production – considered by many to be the “holy grail” of electric mobility.

QuantumScape still has a lot of work to do before achieving viable, scaled production, but VW intends to continue its support now in hopes of delivering long-range, solid-state EVs someday. Per QuantumScape founder and CEO Jagdeep Singh:

These results from the Volkswagen Group’s PowerCo testing make clear that QuantumScape’s anodeless solid-state lithium-metal cells are capable of exceptional performance. While we have more work to do to bring this technology to market, we are not aware of any other automotive-format lithium-metal battery that has shown such high discharge energy retention over a comparable cycle count under similar conditions. We’re excited to be working closely with the Volkswagen Group and PowerCo to industrialize this technology and bring it to market as quickly as possible.

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