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.
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.