The solid-state cell is regarded as the technology of the future and the next big step in battery development. The technology promises longer ranges, shorter charging times and maximum safety. The US company QuantumScape recently passed an important milestone, which has now been confirmed by PowerCo: Its solid-state cell significantly exceeded the requirements in the A-sample test and successfully completed more than 1,000 charging cycles. For an electric car with a WLTP range of 500-600 kilometers, this corresponds to a driving performance of more than half a million kilometers in purely mathematical terms. At the same time, the cell has hardly aged at all and still had 95 percent of its capacity at the end of the test. The tests, which lasted several months, were carried out in PowerCo’s battery laboratories in Salzgitter. PowerCo is the globally active battery company of the Volkswagen Group.
Robustness is the most important criterion in the standardized test procedures for newly developed battery cells. The industry standard targets for this development phase are 700 charging cycles and a maximum capacity loss of 20 percent. QuantumScape’s solid-state cell significantly exceeded these specifications in the latest test. The cell also met the requirements for other test criteria such as fast-charging capability, safety and self-discharge. QuantumScape first reported on the results in a shareholder letter for the third quarter.
The solid-state cell tested consists of 24 layers and therefore already corresponds to the planned series cell. The next step on the way to series production is now to perfect and scale up the manufacturing processes. The unit cell developed by PowerCo is also fundamentally suitable for use with solid-state cell technology. The Volkswagen Group has been involved with QuantumScape since 2012 and is one of the main investors in the technology start-up.