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Solid Power begins pilot production of solid-state EV battery


Solid Power’s 22-layer solid-state 20Ah lithium metal cell has a higher capacity than its first-generation 10Ah cell.

Solid Power

Solid PowerColorado-based startup that develops batteries. It is backed by BMW Ford MotorIt has started pilot production of an ingenious “solid state” cell battery that will give electric car owners greater range and shorter charging times, while also being cheaper.

They are called solid state batteries because they eliminate the need for liquid or gel electrolytes in existing lithium-ion batteries. In electric vehicles, they have the potential to offer more range, shorter recharging times and a lower risk of fires than lithium-ion batteries – all compelling benefits that have drawn big investments from automakers over the last several years.

But a solid-state battery design that can stand up to years of use in an electric vehicle – and that can be mass-produced at reasonable cost – has eluded researchers for decades. This is expected to change in the next few years.

Solid Power’s efforts are just one among many that aim to get solid-state cells on the market to be used in electric cars. There are many other competitors, including public companies such as QuantumScapeFunded by big companies like Google, private effort funded by the giants Toyota.

Solid Power may have an advantage: Although some competitors’ designs might require expensive specialized factories to produce, Solid Power claims its lithium-ion batteries can be made using existing tools and processes in factories that already make them.

Solid Power will use its pilot production line to produce small quantities of batteries for internal testing. It is also working on improving its battery design, and its manufacturing process.

The company expects to begin shipping batteries to its automotive partners, BMW and Ford, for testing in prototype vehicles by the end of this year, CEO Doug Campbell said — a key step in the “validation” process needed to supply batteries to automakers at scale.

Campbell stated to CNBC that if everything goes according to plan, Solid Power’s battery design will be approved by the automakers sometime during the first half 2024.

The company would then give its design over to an existing battery producer for mass production. It is possible that the first Solid Power-powered vehicles could become available in a matter of years.