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Ford, BMW Participate in EV Race with New Battery Technology Bet

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Battery technology holds the key to the future of EVs. Image Alliance via Jan Woitas / Getty Images

In the automotive world, we have reached an agreement that the next front line of innovation in electric vehicles is the battery. And even the most conservative gas car makers are pouring money into exaggerated battery technology start-ups, hoping to gain an edge over their competitors in future EV races.

The latest in the game are Ford and BMW. US and German car giants announced on Monday that they are leading a $ 130 million Series B funding round at solid-state battery startup SolidPower.

All-solid-state batteries are next-generation batteries that promise significant cost savings for electric vehicles. They are less flammable, faster to charge, and more energy dense (and therefore longer mileage) than lithium-ion batteries. The only downside is that existing technologies are too expensive for mass use.

Solid Power said the technology can provide 50 percent higher energy density than current lithium-ion batteries. However, commercialization can take years. BMW, which has partnered with startups since 2016, expects SolidPower to supply batteries for future EVs by the end of the last decade.

Other all-solid-state battery startups face similar challenges. Quantum Scape, which reached a market value of $ 55 billion in December 2020, said it would not be able to offer a real product until at least 2024. Quantum Scape is backed by Volkswagen and Bill Gates. The startup was launched in November 2020 with the merger of SPACs.

Ford believes that Solid Power has a good chance of success. In an interview, Ford Chief Operating Officer and Chief Operating Officer Hau Thai-Tang said, “We have worked with more than 12 different startups in this area and were most impressed with SolidPower’s progress. “. With Reuters.

Ford also participated in the 2018 Solid Power $ 26 million Series A round with Hyundai and Samsung.

At the end of Series B, Ford and BMW will each own an equivalent privately held stake in Solid Power.

“The partnership and the capital that accompanies it will lay a good foundation for implementing our roadmap. Simply put, we will certify this technology for our vehicles and bring it to our vehicles not too far away. “The future,” said Doug Campbell, co-founder and CEO of Solid Power.

The startup plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on its pilot production line in early 2022.

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