solid

The Louisville, Colorado-based SSB developer debuted $130 million Series B funding round was led by Ford and BMW, the latest signal that the two OEMs see SSBs powering the future of transportation. Under the investment, Ford and BMW are equal equity owners, and company representatives will join Solid Power’s board.

Solid Power received additional investment in the round from Volta Energy Technologies, the venture capital firm spun out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.

Liquid electrolyte solutions are usually flammable and at risk of overheating, so SSBs are considered to be generally safer. The real value of SSBs versus their lithium-ion counterparts is the energy density. Solid Power says its batteries can provide as much as a 50% to 100% increase in energy density compared to rechargeable batteries. Theoretically, electric vehicles with more energy-dense batteries can travel longer distances on a single charge.

This latest round of investment will help Solid Power boost its manufacturing to produce battery cells with the company’s highest ampere hour (Ah) output yet. Under separate joint development agreements with Ford and BMW, it will deliver to the OEMs 100 Ah cells for testing and vehicle integration from 2022.

Until this point, the company has been manufacturing cells with 2 Ah and 20 Ah output. “Hundreds” of 2 Ah battery cells were validated by Ford and BMW late last year, Solid Power said in a statement. Meanwhile, it is currently producing 20 Ah solid state batteries on a pilot basis with standard lithium-ion equipment.

As opposed to the 20 Ah pilot-scale cells which are composed of 22-layers at 9×20 cm these 100 Ah cells will have a larger footprint and even more layers, Solid Power spokesman Will McKenna.

Unlike Solid Power’s manufacturing, traditional lithium-ion batteries must undergo electrolyte filling and cycling in their production processes. Solid Power says these additional steps account for 5% and 30% of capital expenditure in a typical GWh-scale lithium-ion facility.

This isn’t the first time Solid Power has landed investments from the automakers. The company’s $20 million Series A in 2018 attracted capital from BMW and Ford, as well as Samsung, Hyundai, Volta and others. It’s part of a new wave of companies that have attracted the attention of OEMs. Other notable examples include Volkswagen-backed QuantumScape and General Motors, which has put its money on SES.

myfisense

myfisense


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FI Sense

FREE
VIEW