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Ford and BMW lead funding round to speed solid-state lithium battery development for EVs

Wed, 05/12/2021 - 08:00 -- paul Crompton

Solid-state battery developer Solid Power has secured a $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies. 

Solid Power plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on its pilot production line early next year as a result of the funding round.

The BMW Group and Ford aim to use Solid Power's solid-state battery technology in their future electric vehicles (EVs). 

Both companies expanded existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all solid-state batteries for future EVs.

The investment opens the doors for Solid Power to produce full-scale automotive batteries, increase associated material output and expand in-house production capabilities for future vehicle integration. 

Funding follows Solid Power delivering “hundreds of production line-produced battery cells” that were validated by Ford and the BMW Group last year. 

BMW and Solid Power have developed a 20Ah all solid-state cell, and Solid Power is producing 20Ah multi-layer all solid-state batteries on its continuous roll-to-roll production line, which uses industry standard lithium-ion production processes and equipment. 

Both Ford and the BMW Group will receive full-scale 100Ah cells for automotive qualification testing and vehicle integration next year. 

Ted Miller, Ford's manager of electrification subsystems and power supply research, said: "Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that's why we're investing directly.

“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."

Volta Energy Technologies is a venture capital firm spun out of the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.

Image: A Solid Power manufacturing engineer holds two 20 ampere hour (Ah) all solid-state battery cells for the BMW Group and Ford Motor Company. The 20 ampere hour (Ah) all solid-state battery cells were produced on Solid Power’s Colorado-based pilot production line BMW and Ford

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