Ford, BMW boost investment in solid-state battery startup
Ford Motor Co., BMW AG, and Volta Energy Technologies announced yesterday to invest $130 million in funding solid-state battery startup, Solid Power for further developing low-cost, longer range, and safer batteries for electric vehicles.
Through the latest Series B investment, BMW Group becomes an equal equity owner with Ford and as the leading automakers seek to accelerate the development of solid-state vehicle battery technology alongside expanding its existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all-solid-state batteries for future electric vehicles.
"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."
According to Ford Motor's official statement, both automakers will have separate joint development agreements with Solid Power to develop and test its battery technology so each can meet the independent engineering and manufacturing requirements of their respective future vehicles. Both Ford and the BMW Group will receive full-scale 100 Ah cells for automotive qualification testing and vehicle integration beginning 2022.
At present, Solid Power produces 20-ampere hour (Ah) multi-layer all-solid-state batteries on the company's continuous roll-to-roll production line, which exclusively utilizes industry-standard lithium-ion production processes and equipment.
The draw for Solid Power's sulfide-based solid-state battery cells is that it has demonstrated the ability to produce and scale next-generation all-solid-state batteries that are designed to power longer range, lower cost, and safer electric vehicles using existing li-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure.
"Being a leader in advanced battery technology is of the utmost importance for the BMW Group," said Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development. "The development of all-solid-state batteries is one of the most promising and important steps towards more efficient, sustainable, and safer electric vehicles. We now have taken our next step on this path with Solid Power."