BMW and Ford Participate in Solid-State Battery Startup

With the investment of the three companies totaling 130 million dollars, Solid Power could expand production, said Peter Lamp, responsible for the battery business at BMW. Solid Power did not comment on how highly the startup would be rated after the investment round, in which the investment company Volta Energy Technologies also participated. “BMW and Ford are taking leading positions in the race for electric vehicles that are powered by solid batteries,” said Doug Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Solid Power.

Solid-state batteries are considered a future technology in the automotive industry. They do not contain liquids like conventional lithium-ion batteries, but solid electrolytes. In addition to a higher energy density, the advantages also include lower flammability. According to Solid Power, the batteries can store one and a half times as much energy as conventional rechargeable batteries. However, the technology is also more expensive, and there is so far only little experience from practical use.

Solid Power was founded in 2012 as a spin-off from the University of Colorado in Boulder and has been working with BMW since 2016. The Munich-based car manufacturer aims to increase the number of its electric models to five by the end of the year, and electric models are to be offered in all car segments by 2023.

Volkswagen is also working with a start-up on solid-state batteries. QuantumScape aims to launch its batteries in 2024. Last year, the company slipped into an empty corporate shell and thus went public. Solid Power boss Campbell did not want to say whether his company could also go public this way.