This Volkswagen-Backed Startup is Building a Revolutionary Battery for Electric Cars
Wtih backing from Volkswagen and Bill Gates, QuantumScape is building a revolutionary new electric car battery from solid-state technology.
When an entrepreneur realized all the common complaints with electric vehicles originate from the battery and not the car itself, he created an entirely new battery system for them—and earned himself the backing of automotive giant Volkswagen in the process.
Long charging times, limited range, higher costs, weight, and limited cabin space: These are all negative selling points that have to do with the battery-powered nature of electric vehicles (EVs), partially because the technology in them has so far been limited to banks of lithium-ion batteries of ever-increasing size.
Jagdeep Singh started a company called QuantumScape that’s using solid-state technology for their batteries.
Thanks to immediate valuation from investors like Bill Gates, QuantumScape is now worth $3.3 billion, and major backers Volkswagen have already committed to using Singh’s technology in their next generation of EVs in 2024.
Along with presenting the problems of cost, size, and charging time, lithium-ion batteries require materials known as rare-earth minerals—which tend to be costly and environmentally destructive to mine.
Replacing the liquid graphite-silicon anode electrolyte at the center of a lithium-ion battery with a solid ceramic material, QuantumScape’s batteries provide significantly increased energy density and lower cost, along with removing a significant fire hazard in the form of the liquid anode.
Most importantly though, a solid-state battery can go from 0% charge to 80% in just 15 minutes—light speed compared to its competitors.