VW-backed QuantumScape's solid-state batteries ace the first tests

Max McDee, 04 January 2024

QuantumScape, an American company counting Volkswagen among its biggest investors, reports a groundbreaking achievement with its latest solid-state battery technology. The battery completed over 1,000 charging cycles with an impressive 95% capacity retention, meaning that a car can go 311,000 miles and still retain the majority of its original battery capacity.

Volkswagen's subsidiary, PowerCo, conducted the tests on the battery samples in their Salzgitter labs, confirming QuantumScape's claims. According to PowerCo CEO Frank Blome, these results mark a crucial milestone, propelling the solid-state cell towards mass production.

QuantumScape's solid-state batteries ace the first tests

Solid-state batteries, using a solid electrolyte rather than a liquid one, boast advantages like higher energy density and faster charging. The safety factor is also important, eliminating the infamous fire hazards associated with lithium-ion batteries. QuantumScape's achievement is far above the industry norm of 20% capacity loss benchmark after 700 cycles.

Jagdeep Singh, Founder & CEO of QuantumScape, exudes confidence in the technology but acknowledges there's a lot of work to be done. While the 24-layer solid-state cell aligns with planned series production, perfecting manufacturing processes remains the next hurdle. Volkswagen's involvement since 2012 as a major investor should speed up the development, but the road to mainstream adoption is strewn with challenges.

QuantumScape's solid-state batteries ace the first tests

Solid-state batteries, though promising, face hurdles, with cost being a chief concern. Presently, they are more expensive to produce than lithium-ion batteries, which will prevent mass adoption. The intricate manufacturing process and scalability concerns further cloud the path to widespread adoption.

QuantumScape's solid-state batteries ace the first tests

Yet, despite all the bumps in the road to the future, the allure of solid-state batteries is undeniable. The industry's heavy investments and the optimism surrounding its eventual mainstream adoption underscore the potential rewards. QuantumScape's achievement, while not immune to skepticism, injects confidence into an EV industry hungry for breakthroughs.


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