QuantumScape’s Solid-State Battery Maintains Over 95% Capacity After 1,000 Charges

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Depending on its design, an electric vehicle can travel over 500,000 kilometres without significant range degradation; this is based on battery experiments performed in the labs of PowerCo, Volkswagen Group’s battery division.

The solid-state cell is viewed as a future technology and a major leap in battery evolution, offering extended driving ranges, reduced charging durations, and enhanced safety. QuantumScape, a U.S.-based company, recently achieved a significant breakthrough, verified by PowerCo: their solid-state cell surpassed expectations in the A-sample test, completing over 1,000 charge cycles.

This achievement translates to a lifetime of over half a million kilometres (more than 310,000 miles) for an electric vehicle with a 500-600 kilometre WLTP range. Remarkably, the cell showed minimal ageing, retaining 95% of its capacity at the end of the test. These multi-month tests were conducted in PowerCo’s battery labs in Salzgitter.

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Frank Blome, CEO of PowerCo, feels that these promising results vividly demonstrate the solid-state cell’s potential, and they anticipate a battery cell offering long distances, rapid charging, and virtually no ageing. They are fully committed to the solid-state cell, working tirelessly with QuantumScape towards mass production.

In standardized testing for new battery cells, robustness is key. The industry standard for this development phase is 700 charging cycles and a maximum 20% capacity loss. QuantumScape’s solid-state cell outperformed these benchmarks in the recent test, also meeting the criteria for quick charging, safety, and self-discharge. QuantumScape shared these findings in their Q3 2023 shareholder letter.

Jagdeep Singh, QuantumScape’s founder and CEO, supports that the results from Volkswagen Group’s PowerCo tests confirm their anodeless solid-state lithium-metal cells’ exceptional performance. Although more work is needed to commercialize this technology, we’re unaware of any other automotive lithium-metal battery showing such high energy retention over a similar cycle count and conditions. They are thrilled to collaborate with the Volkswagen Group and PowerCo to industrialize and market this technology swiftly.

The tested solid-state cell, comprising 24 layers, matches the planned series cell. The next step towards mass production is refining and scaling manufacturing processes. Volkswagen’s unified cell concept, developed by PowerCo, is adaptable for solid-state cell technology. Volkswagen Group, a key investor in QuantumScape since 2012, continues to support the technology start-up.

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