BMW and Ford Back Solid-State Batteries
The biggest revolution in the electric vehicle world is without a doubt the coming of solid-state batteries. These high-tech wonders will dramatically speed up the adoption of EVs by providing the auto industry with a safer, cheaper alternative to lithium-ion batteries. These next-gen battery packs are said to offer 50 percent more energy density while costing 40 percent less to produce.
Solid-State Batteries Are Coming
Solid Power, a very promising solid-state battery start-up backed by forward-thinking automakers Ford and BMW, is planning to go public thanks to a merger with special purpose acquisition company Decarbonized Plus Acquisition III (NASDAQ: DCRC). The deal values the combined company at about $1.2 billion.
If you are interested in electric vehicle stocks, Solid Power is worth a look. Big companies are lined up and waiting for its products and the solid-state technology is closer to mass production than many prominent rivals. Solid Power was founded in 2012 in Colorado and is one of several companies that are pushing the solid-state battery future.
What are Solid-State Batteries?
Solid-state batteries have the potential to offer greater energy density than lithium-ion batteries while reducing weight. However, these new batteries have been a long time in coming to mass production because of the high cost to produce them. Solid Power plans to change that as it is currently producing 20 ampere-hour (Ah) battery cells on a pilot production line. According to Solid Power’s CEO Doug Campbell, the company hopes to begin production of its full-scale 100 Ah battery packs as early as next year.
Aiding them in the race to production is that unlike its competitors, Solid Power’s solid-state battery cells can be manufactured with equipment and processes that have been adapted from already existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing. That means that existing battery plants can be converted to produce Solid Power’s cells at relatively low cost.
The Ford and BMW Connection
Leading electric vehicle automakers BMW and Ford invested $130 million in Solid Power during the company’s most recent funding round. Both BMW and Ford look forward to getting Solid Power’s 100 Ah battery packs for testing in their own electric vehicles next year.
Solid Power is hoping to raise over $100 million in new equity to support a transaction that is set to value the combined entity at about $1.2 billion. “Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that’s why we’re investing in it directly,” Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer, said in a recent statement.
Ford also announced that it will open a $183 million laboratory called “Ford Ion Park” next year in order to develop new processes for producing solid-state battery packs in-house.
As for BMW, the German automaker plans to debut solid-state battery powered vehicles wearing the blue and white roundel on the roads by 2025.