Solid Power, a Colorado-based solid-state rechargeable batteries company, is working with Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. to develop solid-state batteries for next-generation electric vehicles. The batteries offer improved energy and safety compared to current industry-standard lithium-ion batteries.
The partnership will focus on developing the batteries toward automotive requirements and will leverage Solid Power’s first fully automated, roll-to-toll production facility, which is anticipated to be fully operational in the second quarter.
“Companies like Ford are part of the movement that is changing the automotive industry, and we are honored to be working together,” says Doug Campbell, co-founder and CEO of Solid Power. “ASSBs have the potential to provide greater energy, which translates to greater run-time per charge or, in the case of an electric vehicle, greater range from a fully charged battery. By combining state-of-the-art cathodes with metallic lithium anodes, ASSBs can achieve up to a 50-percent increase in cell level energy versus current lithium-ion cells while even greater energy improvements are possible with more advanced cathodes, which is an additional area of development for Solid Power.”
Solid Power closed a $20 million Series A investment round in September 2018. Ford participated in a subsequent closing of that round. In December 2017, Solid Power announced its partnership with BMW Group to jointly develop its batteries for electric vehicle applications and to tailor Solid Power’s technology toward automotive requirements for high-performance electric vehicles.
“Solid-state battery technology has the potential to help us deliver electric vehicles that are even safer and more capable,” says Ken Washington, vice president of research and advanced engineering and chief technology officer at Ford. “Our involvement with Solid Power enables us to further collaborate in an important emerging technology that could truly transform the design and integration of smart electric vehicles into tomorrow’s smart world.”
Other industries are also showing increased interest in all solid-state batteries, including aerospace, medical devices, and defense. The batteries do not have flammable liquid electrolyte, increasing safety and decreasing the need to spend money on additional safety features. They also offer simplified thermal management and are have high manufacturability due to compatibility with automated, industry-standard, roll-to-roll production.