Battery developer Solid Power will begin producing EV-scale solid-state lithium-ion cells in Colorado, US after completing the installation of its pilot production line.
Dubbed the ‘EV cell pilot line’, Solid Power intends to produce Silicon EV Cells for internal testing before delivering cells to its vehicle OEM partners BMW and Ford for automotive qualification testing, which is planned for the end of the year.
Completion of the EV cell pilot line will allow the firm to produce cells suitable for initiating the formal automotive qualification process.
The cells use a NMC cathode, sulfide solid electrolyte and high-content (more than 50%) silicon based anode.
The company aims to bring the pilot line up to its full operational capability over the next year— with a spokesman telling BEST they “anticipate” the line will be producing at full capacity by end of year.
The initial production will be in the MWh range, but SolidPower could, or would not, give details on the exact capacity.
The plant in Louisville is situated next to the company’s pre-pilot production line that has produced 2Ah and 20Ah cells.
Solid Power’s EV cell pilot line is designed to produce large-format sulfide-based cells in a manner that mimics existing traditional lithium-ion production processes.
When running at full capacity, the pilot line is expected to be capable of producing 300 cells per week (around 15,000 cells per year), with the majority of those being planned for automotive qualification testing.
Solid Power’s Silicon EV Cells use more than 50% active silicon in the anode, and the company aims to be able to optimise its technology for capacities ranging from 60 to 100Ah.
The company expects this flexibility will allow it to meet its automotive partners’ specifications, while allowing for additional partners with distinct design specifications.
EV battery market
Last November, Solid Power confirmed it would partner with SK Innovation to manufacture automotive-scale all-solid-state batteries under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and joint development agreement (JDA).
Korean firm SK Innovation aims to produce automotive-scale cells using Solid Power’s sulphide-based solid electrolyte, proprietary cell designs and production processes.
Through the JDA, the firms plan to cooperate on all-solid-state cell development, validation and production to enable Solid Power to deliver pre-commercial all- solid-state cells to automotive customers for qualification testing.