Volkswagen is investing $100 million to increase its stake in US battery start-up Quantumscape and “accelerate” commercialisation of innovative solid-state battery technology.
VW said the deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, will make it Quantumscape’s largest automotive shareholder and will give the car giant a seat on the board.
German auto-parts maker Bosch has confirmed it is dropping plans to manufacture battery cells and “disbanding” battery-related research as the result of “a lengthy economic assessment”.
Bosch said investing in the commercialisation of cell technologies itself— whether improved existing technologies or future ones— is “too risky” and it will instead focus on out-sourcing.
French battery firm Saft is teaming up with European companies for a seven-year programme to develop next generation batteries— “focusing on advanced high-density lithium-ion and solid-state technology”.
Saft, which is owned by French oil and gas giant Total, said German technology group Siemens and Belgium-based chemicals firm Solvay have already committed to join the R&D initiative that will “develop and industrialise” next generation batteries for “all markets” including electric vehicles and energy storage systems.
New research into solid-state batteries has won a share of a GBP42 million ($59.8m) UK government grant to help accelerate the development of electric vehicle technology.
The research, to be conducted by an academia-industry partnership led by the University of Oxford, is one of four projects chosen for the funding through the Faraday Institution— launched last year as part of the government’s wider industrial strategy.
German automotive giant BMW has formed a partnership to develop solid-state batteries for its electric vehicles with US-based start-up Solid Power.
Solid Power, which has been developing solid-state rechargeable batteries in Louisville, Colorado, aims to advance its technology to meet the requirements for high performance EVs.