Solid Power awarded millions from US Dept. of Energy to build solid-state batteries

Solid-State battery developer Solid Power continues to rally financial support to help scale its nickel- and cobalt-free cells for EVs. This week, the United States Department of Energy announced it is awarding over $5 million to help Solid Power continue developing its technology which could significantly help lower the price of EV batteries.

Solid Power ($SLDP) is a US-based battery developer that specializes in solid-state, sulfide-based electrolyte technology that it hopes to scale in order to bring more energy-dense cells to the EV world at or near cost parity to current lithium-ion batteries.

Since being spun out of a program at University of Colorado in 2011, legacy automakers like Ford and Hyundai have invested in Solid Power, in addition to a partnership with SK Innovation announced in October of 2021. Last June, Solid Power announced a solid-state battery pilot production line ahead of a timeline to deliver the cells to both Ford and BMW by the end of 2022.

In mid-December, Solid Power announced it would co-develop its solid-state technology in the US alongside longtime partner BMW, who will implement its own assembly lines overseas with the goal of fast-tracking development toward scaled cell production, as part of the deal agreed to pay $20 million to license the technology.

Now, the battery developer has gained an even larger financial cushion to continue its research, following an award from the US Department of Energy (DOE).

Solid Power US
Source: Solid Power

Solid Power further bolstered by award from US DOE

After the US Dept. of Energy announced its award (up to) $5.6 million to Solid Power on Wednesday, the energy-dense cell developer delivered a release of its own, commenting on the financial support from Uncle Sam. The battery company’s interim CEO, president, and chair David Jansen shared a statement:

Replacing costly nickel and cobalt in the cathode with sulfur could lead to a lower cost EV battery with improved energy and fast-charging capabilities. I’d like to thank the Solid Power development team for their outstanding work and the DOE for their continued confidence in our company’s value proposition.

The over $5 million recently awarded to Solid Power is part of a $42 million package that the DOE is using to financially support 12 different projects under the Electric Vehicles for American Low-Carbon Living (EVs4ALL) program. The common goal of these dozen projects is to strengthen US supply chains that contribute to advanced battery technologies used to power EVs.

Much of the Biden administration’s work the past three years has gone into promoting electrification across the government and citizens, investing in renewables, bolstering charging infrastructure, and limiting the US’ dependency on other countries for supply chain materials such as battery components.

As an American battery manufacturer developing cells that are not only more energy-dense, but also lighter, thinner, and less volatile than lithium-ion, it’s of little surprise that Solid Power has the backing of the DOE to keep doing its thing.

Scaled solid-state battery production still feel a ways away, but fresh funds from D.C. should certainly help push the development process forward – on home turf, nonetheless.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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