Ford and BMW raise the stakes in race for solid-state batteries, says GlobalData

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Following the news that Ford and BMW are leading a $130m funding round for solid-state battery startup, Solid Power;

David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“As car companies eye much higher volumes for electric vehicles over the next five years, they are also making moves to anticipate next generation technologies, with batteries emerging as a critical area for attention. Solid-state batteries are in an early phase of development, but they could turn out to be game-changing.

“With this investment, Ford and BMW have clearly decided that the potential benefits of future solid-state batteries are well worth an investment stake.

“Other car companies are also investing in solid-state batteries for vehicles. Late last year, Toyota announced that it plans to build a prototype electric vehicle powered by solid-state batteries in 2021. Volkswagen is working with QuantumScape to produce solid-state batteries by 2025 and Nissan plans to start testing the technology later this decade.

“Replacing the liquid electrolyte found in today’s lithium-ion batteries with a solid one results in increased energy density for much lower battery recharge times, longer life, reduced fire risk and very much higher operating ranges – possibly as much as double that of current lithium-ion batteries.

“However, we’re not there yet with production-ready solid-state battery technology. There is still a lot of work to do to get it ready for manufacturing at scale. Indeed, some manufacturers – such as Tesla – are sticking to refining existing lithium-ion tech for now. Nevertheless, the whole industry will be closely tracking solid-state battery tech developments over the next few years.”

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