QuantumScape’s solid-state cell passes first endurance test | Autocar Professional

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The solid-state cell is considered a technology of the future and the next big step in battery development. The technology promises longer ranges, shorter charging times and maximum safety. The U.S. company QuantumScape has recently reached an important milestone, which was now confirmed by PowerCo: its solid-state cell has significantly exceeded the requirements in the A-sample test and successfully completed more than 1,000 charging cycles.

For an electric car with a WLTP range of 500-600 kilometres, this corresponds to a total mileage of more than half a million kilometres (over 310,000 miles). At the same time, the cell barely aged and still had 95% of its capacity (or discharge energy retention) at the end of the test. The tests, which ran for several months, were carried out in PowerCo’s battery laboratories in Salzgitter.

PowerCo CEO Frank Blome said: “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.”

In the standardised test procedures for newly developed battery cells, robustness is considered the most important criterion. The industry-standard targets for this development phase are 700 charging cycles and a maximum capacity loss of 20 per cent. QuantumScape’s solid-state cell significantly exceeded these specifications in the latest test. The cell was also able to meet the requirements for other test criteria such as fast-charging capability, safety and self-discharge. QuantumScape first reported on the results as part of their Q3 2023 shareholder letter.

Commenting on the test results, Jagdeep Singh, founder and CEO of QuantumScape, said: “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 industrialise this technology and bring it to market as quickly as possible.”

The tested solid-state cell consists of 24 layers and thus already corresponds to the planned series cell. The next step on the way to series production is now to perfect and scale the manufacturing processes. In principle, Volkswagen’s unified cell concept developed by PowerCo is also suitable for the use of solid-state cell technology. The Volkswagen Group has been involved in QuantumScape since 2012 and is one of the main investors in the technology start-up.

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