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Solid-state lithium-ion maker QuantumScape secures $100M funding after hitting VW’s technical tests

Thu, 04/29/2021 - 10:59 -- Vic

Volkswagen Group of America Investments will invest a further $100 million into QuantumScape after the solid-state lithium-ion battery developer successfully met a key technical milestone.

The milestone required Volkswagen to successfully test the latest generation of QuantumScape’s solid-state lithium-metal cells in their laboratories in Germany. 

The funding is the second and final closing under last year’s stock purchase agreement between the companies that provided for a $200 million investment. 

The closing will occur following expiration of the waiting period or other clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

The companies will work jointly to bring solid-state lithium-metal battery technology into industrialised mass-production, said Jagdeep Singh, co-founder and CEO of QuantumScape.

The companies formed a joint venture in 2018 to work together on solid-state batteries with Volkswagen investing $100 million at the time.

In January, QuantumScape’s share price tumbled by around 41% following a report on Seeking Alpha website by Dr Brian Morin, CEO of Soteria Battery Innovation Group, that questioned the technology’s capabilities.

The stock price fall led to two separate lawsuits in the US. 

This month also saw Celina Mikolajczak join the company’s board as an independent director. 

Mikolajczak is vice-president of engineering & battery technology at Panasonic Energy of North America.

She has also served as director of engineering focused on battery development for Uber Technologies, and senior manager for cell quality and materials engineering at Tesla Motors— helping to develop the battery cells and packs for Tesla’s Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Roadster Refresh.

On 2 April, QuantumScape Battery, a subsidiary of QuantumScape, leased 196,600 square feet building in San Jose, California, US, according to Bay Area news outlet the Mercury News.

The research and manufacturing site building more than doubles the space that the company occupies in the Bay Area at its 87,100 square feet headquarters on Technology Drive in San Jose.

The lease is scheduled to begin in December and is stated to expire in September 2032.

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