Solid-state battery manufacturer QuantumScape announced that its first 24-layer lithium-metal prototype sells to EV OEMs for testing. Referred to as “Sample A0,” these cells represent QuantumScape’s most impressive solid-state technology to date, and their delivery marks a key milestone in its journey toward full integration of energy dense, fast-charging cells into future electric vehicles.
QuantumScape ($QS) is a battery technology company founded in 2010 with the goal of developing scalable, effective solid-state batteries that achieve cost parity with traditional lithium-ion cells popular in current EV models.
After over a decade of research and development, the battery developer really started gaining momentum in 2020 when it announced it had reached a “major breakthrough” by utilizing a ceramic separator. This led to the successful testing of single-layer prototype cells. After doubling the size of its initial pilot manufacturing line, Quantumscape revealed it had also developed 10-layer cells, followed by a 16-layer prototype.
This past February, QuantumScape shared another industry first with a single-layer cell that had completed 400 consecutive 15-minute fast-charge cycles, replenishing from 10% to 80% capacity while still retaining over 80% of its initial energy.
By Q2 of 2022, the company was touting energy dense, 24-layer cells, which were already enduring internal testing. These first 24-layer prototypes have been labeled Sample A cells, representing the beginning of a three step journey toward automotive qualification and eventual production. Each major sampling stage (A,B, and C) will consist of several generations of maturing cell prototypes which will be delivered to OEMs for testing and validation.
Today, QuantumScape has delivered the first A0 prototype solid-state batteries to EV automakers for them to test themselves.
First solid-state EV batteries reach OEMs for initial testing
As promised, QuantumScape delivered its 24-layer solid-state EV batteries to OEMs before year’s end. The company shared details of the initial deliveries in a press release today, capping off another impressive year of development.
Top comment by Earl Pottinger
i am glad that samples have been sent out to others for testing.
I never can fully trust reports that are just from a research department of the company that plans to sell an item, they always will use the best terms they can get away with.
Independent testing means we will know if these batteries are as good as they sat.
All that said, QuantumScape is the first to admit it still has a long way to go before solid-state batteries become commonplace within EVs and other electronics. Per QuantumScape CEO and cofounder Jagdeep Singh:
I’m proud of our team for all the effort and determination that went into achieving this milestone, especially in light of the challenges we encountered this year. While this milestone brings us closer to our ultimate goal, there’s still a lot to do before this technology becomes a commercial product, and we now turn our attention to this important work.
With 24 layers, each comprised of a solid-state separator, cathode, and a lithium-metal anode, QuantumScape states that its prototype cells have capacities in the “multi-amp-hour range.” With initial deliveries underway, OEMs like Volkswagen Group for instance, can begin their own internal testing of the solid-state batteries as they pertain to EVs and provide feedback on their performance.
Looking ahead, QuantumScape says it still has substantial work on its to-do list before it can bring this its battery technology to market, including “improvements to the quality, consistency, and throughput of its production processes, and additional enhancements on the product side, such as increased cathode capacity loading and improved packaging efficiency.”
The company says it intends to use the planned prototype generations of A, B, and C cells over the coming years to improve upon the factors mentioned above. Trust that several OEMs will continue to be involved in the testing process to help QuantumScape reach its goal of affordable, scaled production of solid-state batteries for EVs and beyond. It will be exciting to see what this company continues to achieve in 2023.
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