QuantumScape, a startup backed by Bill Gates, revealed the results of the company’s new line of solid state batteries. This could be a potential Tesla competitor.
QuantumScape, developer of electric vehicle batteries based in San Jose, California, is becoming a concern for many investors. According to the WSJThe company promises to launch a lower cost version of the electric vehicle battery pack. If it succeeds, billionaire Elon Musk’s company, Tesla, will face new challenges.
QuantumScape is the emerging electric vehicle battery start-up in late 2020. Theo WSJThe company currently has a larger market value than Ford, and has backing both Volkswagen and Bill Gates. Currently, the company is priced around 44 billion USD.
Since going public in November 2020, QuantumScape shares have steadily jumped. In early December, the company revealed for the first time the test results of the solid-state electric vehicle battery version.
Volkswagen has invested $ 200 million in QuantumScape. Photo: Electrive.
Solid state batteries have long been considered the backbone of the manufacturing industry tram, helping the technology sector overcome performance limitations.
Currently, most smartphones, Tesla or BMW i3 electric cars use lithium-ion batteries. However, the amount of electrolytic liquid inside often poses a risk of overheating. After 5 engine fires occurred in November 2020, General Motors recalled nearly 69,000 Chevrolet Bolt electric cars.
The introduction of solid state batteries will help the electric vehicle industry reduce the risk of fire. In addition, the lithium-metal component helps to reduce battery weight, while providing more power at a lower cost. The energy cell is the factor that inhibits the development of electric vehicles. Their cost is relatively high and more expensive than equivalent internal combustion engines.
In solid state, the energy battery will have a longer lifespan and charge faster. In December, QuantumScape said the lithium-metal battery version only takes 15 minutes to fully charge 80%. Even after 800 charges, the energy battery is still 80% more durable. Thanks to the new technology, customers will have more opportunities to own an electric vehicle.
According to the WSJSolid state batteries are considered as the most promising electric vehicle energy technology in the future. However, the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, is an exception. During Tesla’s Battery Day event, solid-state battery technology was rarely discussed. According to billionaire Elon Musk, solid state battery’s space-saving capabilities are not as ideal as announced.
Battery is a factor holding back the growth of the electric vehicle industry. Photo: Medium.
In Tesla technology, cylindrical energy cells are made up of coil cells. Meanwhile, Tesla’s competitors often prefer prismatic batteries. Since solid cells are more brittle in liquid form, they can be more easily stacked than rolled up.
According to Graeme Purdy, leader of Ilika, the company in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, Tesla’s technology is becoming a disadvantage in the competition. However, the billionaire Elon Musk’s company still has many opportunities to reconsider the plan.
For now, QuantumScape is expected to have no sales before 2026, nor is it a guarantee that the company’s technology will outperform other brands. The test results that QuantumScape announced in December were single-layer batteries. Meanwhile, private American startup Solid Power is making multilayer batteries in Louisville.
“The manufacturing process gets exponentially more difficult when you switch to multi-layer batteries,” said Mark Newman, an analyst at brokerage Bernstein, who has experience in the battery industry.
The pricing of companies like Tesla or QuantumScape requires investors to zoom further. If QuantumScape’s plan succeeds, Tesla will become one of the companies with the most problems.
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