Ford, BMW, and Volta Energy Technologies Back Solid Power for Electric Vehicle Integration
Solid Power receives $130 million in a Series B investment from its automotive partners Ford and the BMW Group, and from Volta Energy Technologies.
Solid Power is an industry-leading developer and manufacturer of next-generation all solid-state rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), medical devices, and mobile power markets. The company aims to deliver solid-state batteries that provide reliability, safety, and improved performance over lithium-ion cells currently available on the market.
Recently, the company announced that it had received $130 million in a Series B investment round led by Ford Motor Company, the BMW Group, and Volta Energy Technologies. Volta is a venture capital firm that spun out of the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory focused on investing in breakthrough energy storage and battery innovations. Both Ford and BMW have also extended development work with Solid Power so that they may secure all-solid-state batteries for integration with future EVs.
Image used courtesy of Solid Power
In other recent news, Ford has been pushing forward to enhance battery research and development (R&D). This has been exemplified by the company’s creation of a new global battery center for excellence, Ford Ion Park. This move to invest in its long-time partner, Solid Power, shows Ford’s commitment to the company and to bringing next-generation battery cell technologies to its customers.
In a recent news release, CEO and co-founder of Solid Power, Doug Campbell, commented: "BMW and Ford now share leading positions in the race for all-solid-state battery-powered electric vehicles.” Campbell added: "Solid Power now plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company's pilot production line in early 2022 as a result of our partners' continued commitment to Solid Power's commercialization efforts."
The Future of EVs
Late last year, Solid Power demonstrated its ability to produce all-solid-state battery cells by delivering hundreds of them straight off of its production line. These cells were validated by both Ford and BMW. This served to formalize the commercialization process and consolidate the relationship between Solid Power and its automotive partners. Throughout development and manufacturing, Solid Power has endeavored to design cells that can provide better safety and improved power for lower cost EVs and EVs that can accommodate a longer range.
For Ford, these are some of the factors that they believe will drive the future of vehicle electrification. In a recent news release, Ford's manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research, Ted Miller, commented: "By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, we'll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for customers and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes."
A Solid Power manufacturing engineer holds two 20-ampere hour (Ah) all-solid-state battery cells produced on its Colorado-based pilot production line. Image used courtesy of Solid Power
Solid Power produces 20-ampere hour (Ah) multi-layer all-solid-state batteries on its continuous roll-to-roll production line. The company will be providing Ford and BMW with full-scale 100 Ah cells for automotive qualification testing and vehicle integration at the start of 2022.
In the same news release, CEO of Volta Energy Technologies, Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, commented: "The fact that Solid Power is already producing multi-layer all-solid-state batteries using industry-standard automated commercial manufacturing equipment is why Volta is excited to ramp up its earlier investment. The company's partnership with BMW and Ford will further accelerate the full commercialization of Solid Power's batteries and position both car companies to be among the first to have EVs on the road powered by safer, affordable, high-energy solid-state batteries."