A £75m investment in an American battery tech company puts VW on track to dramatically improve the range of its EVs

Volkswagen has announced that it aims to have a production facility for solid-state batteries by 2025.

The announcement comes with the VW Group’s £75 million investment in Californian battery technology company QuantumScape, following six years of collaboration with the firm.

Solid-state battery technology, Volkswagen claims, would more than double the capacity compared with the brand’s current lithium ion batteries, boosting the range of the e-Golf from its current 186 miles (NEDC) to 466 miles. 

Volkswagen claims to have already successfully tested solid-state battery technology produced with QuantumScape at a scale comparable to that of an electric car, and claims to be the first to do so.

Last year, BMW announced its investment in solid-state battery company Solid Power, and aims to have solid-state-powered EVs on the road in 2025 - the same goal as Volkswagen.

QuantumScape CEO Jagdeep Singh said: “Volkswagen is the world’s largest automotive manufacturer and leads the industry in its commitment to electrification of its fleet. We think the higher range, faster charge times and inherent safety of QuantumScape’s solid-state technology will be a key enabler for the next generation of electrified powertrains.”

The VW Group’s head of research, Axel Heinrich, said: “The solid-state battery will mark a turning point for e-mobility. By increasing our stake in QuantumScape and forming the joint venture we strengthen and deepen our strategic cooperation with an innovative partner and secure access to the promising QuantumScape battery technology for Volkswagen.”

It’s the first time Volkswagen has put a date on its solid-state battery target, despite having a range of EVs due within four years in the ID, ID Crozz and ID Buzz. The first of these, the ID hatchback, will reach production in November 2019

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BMW Group, Dyson, Fisker, Porsche and Toyota also have plans to produce solid-state batteries, because the upcoming technology is claimed to have the potential to revolutionise EVs through its faster charging, greater capacity and greater energy density than the current lithium ion batteries. 

Read more: 

Volkswagen ID hatch to stay true to concept, says design boss

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Comments
3

22 June 2018

AM or PM only I've got the plumber in the morning

22 June 2018

Getting this right might be harder for the Teslas or Renault/Nissans of this world than their current problems. Tesla is likely to get through its Model 3 difficulties and should grow, but if a game-changing battery tech comes out in the next 5 years, they'll have minimal capital to make the transition. I guess it depends on how their relationship with Panasonic works. 

22 June 2018

And the pieces are slowly but surely being moved into position for a Tesla check mate. This is going to be brutal over the next decade. Volkswagen know exactly what they are looking for and they seem to have found it. Its not just about finding a solution to the the solid state battery problem its about finding one which is realistic and affordable to the average punter. Something Tesla has not yet managed to do. If you have mass appeal and accessibility then you make more money, it really is that simple...

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