German Volkswagen Group recently announced cooperation with QuantumScape The goal of the cooperation is to enable QuantumScape’s all-solid-state battery under development to be mass-produced by 2025. The Volkswagen Group will invest $100 million in QuantumScape and dispatch personnel to participate in the development of QuantumScape.
QuantumScape is a venture capital firm founded in 2010 by former Stanford researchers. At present, including the part being applied for, the total number of patents on all-solid-state batteries has reached approximately 200.
The killer is an oxide-based electrolyte and a unique positive electrode material
View QuantumScape’s patent and discover that the company’s next-generation battery is under development. Branching, it is difficult to predict which one of its finalized routes. One of them is the so-called “AllElectron Battery” (AEB) battery. Although the battery is called an all-solid battery, it is not a Li ion secondary battery, but a special capacitor. In conventional capacitors, the dielectric between the electrodes is an insulator through which current cannot pass, but allows a slight flow of electrons in the AEB. In addition, measures have been devised to increase the energy capacity using quantum dots or the like.
Figure 2: May 15, 2018 Published QuantumScape patent (US009970711), the figure shows the cross section of the sintered material related to the LLZ sintering process.
Secondly, an all-solid Li-ion secondary battery is under development. One of the technical characteristics of the battery company is that a mixed material of ferric fluoride (FeFx) and iron sulfide (FESX) is used for the positive electrode material, and an output voltage of 4.5 V is achieved with respect to the Li /Li + material and as a positive electrode material. Current capacity of 400 mAh/g.
In addition, the company has developed all-solid-state battery electrolytes in two directions, one based on the sulphide-based material “LGPS” jointly developed by Tokyo Institute of Technology and Toyota Motor. The electrolyte material is another material based on a garnet-type oxide material such as “LixLa3Zr2O12 (LLZ)”. However, no matter which one, at present, no particularly excellent material has been developed. As can be seen from the latest public patent, Quantum Scape is currently studying a method of manufacturing a battery using LLZ powder.
All solid-state batteries can increase e-Golf life to 750 km
Volkswagen has been focusing on QuantumScape since many years ago, and has held it in December 2014. The latter’s 5% stake, now $100 million, is a new investment, which also shows that the public’s technical realization of the latter is more certain.
The all-solid-state battery that has been prototyped in QuantumScape in Germany has been installed on the vehicle drive system to complete the operational test. Volkswagen dispatched to QuantumScape is Mr. Axel Heinrich, Head of Research at Volkswagen Group. He said that “through VW’s rich product development experience combined with QuantumScape’s technology, we hope to accelerate the commercialization of all-solid-state batteries and move forward toward the next-generation mobile tools with zero emissions.”
People believes that if With the newly developed all-solid-state battery, the company’s EV model “e-Golf” can be upgraded from the existing 300 kilometers to about 750 kilometers.
The Volkswagen Group has clearly placed its bets on electrification, but Volkswagen has been lacking a competitive advantage on key lithium-ion batteries. His main suppliers, Samsung SDI and Panasonic, have BMW and Toyota respectively. Strategic partnerships make it difficult for the public to lead in this field. This time, by accelerating cooperation with QuantumScape, we are aiming to gain an advantage in the field of solid-state batteries.
The main purpose of Volkswagen Investment QuantumScape is to obtain relevant technology patents so that it can gain a place in the competition of the next generation of power batteries.