Volkswagen increases stake in solid-state battery specialist

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There is a rush within the automotive market to secure battery supply chains to support ever-growing EV model ranges. Most recently, the Volkswagen Group has increased its stake in QuantumScape, a US-based battery specialist, making an additional investment of US$200m.

VW said its goal is to drive forward the joint development of solid-state battery technology, with the expectation that in future, solid-state batteries will significantly increase range and shorten charging times for EVs.

Volkswagen Group and QuantumScape have already been collaborating since 2018 on a joint venture to enable industrial-level production of solid-state batteries.

“Volkswagen is taking e-mobility to the mainstream. A strong position in batteries is a decisive factor in this regard”, said Frank Blome, head of the battery cell business, Volkswagen Group Components.

“We are securing our global supply base with efficient producers, gradually building up manufacturing capacities and driving the development of cutting-edge solid-state battery technology. Our focus in this context is on long-term strategic partnerships.”

VW sees solid-state batteries as the most promising technology for the next-but-one generation of e-mobility. With the same size as current packs, a solid-state battery could enable ranges for electric vehicles that are comparable to those for conventional drivetrains.

Both partners envisage setting up a pilot plant and the plans for this are anticipated to be firmed up in the course of this year.

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