Solid Power, one of several companies developing solid-state batteries, said today that it would be ready to send silicon EV cells to its autonomous partners before the end of the year.
Working with BMW and Ford, the cells will be built for internal testing and qualification. Doug Campbell, CEO of Solid Power, says the latest generation of batteries is just the latest step in mass production. He is encouraged by the company’s progress.
“The installation of this EV cell pilot line will allow us to create the appropriate EV-scale cell to initiate the formal automated qualification process,” Campbell said in a statement. “In the coming quarters, we will work to bring the EV cell pilot line to its full operational capacity and look forward to delivering EV-scale all-solid-state cells to our partners later this year.”
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Solid Power expects to be able to produce 15,000 large-format sulfide-based cells each year once its pilot line is fully operational. Campbell said in an interview with Reuters, however, that the company’s long-term goal is not to become a cell producer.
Instead, the pilot line is intended to ensure that cells can be produced on existing lithium-ion cell production lines. It will then work with partners, such as SK Innovation, which is building a joint-venture cell plant with Ford in Tennessee to supply enough batteries to supply automakers.
Solid-powered silicon EV cells are intended to provide a wider range of vehicles at a lower cost, with significantly reduced risk of fire. It is hardly the only company competing for next-generation battery technology.
“We are in a position among many prominent and trusted players,” Campbell acknowledged, adding that Solid Power added “the big boys – groups like Toyota, Panasonic, Samsung, LG Energy Solutions, Hyundai and CATL.”
Although its partners seem confident in BMW technology. The automaker has promised to release a display car using solid-state batteries before 2025.