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BMW, Solid Power pair up on solid-state batteries

Prototype production of future battery modules for BMW's fifth-generation BMW Group e-drive train. Source: BMW

Tie-up will see BMW and Solid Power work together to develop commercial solid-state batteries for use in EVs

As carmakers across the world look to the next stage of battery innovation, many are forming partnerships with researchers working in the nascent field of solid-state technology.

The latest is Solid Power, a Louisville, Colorado-based developer of solid-state rechargeable batteries, which today announced a partnership with BMW Group.

Solid Power, a spin-off company formed in 2012 out of the University of Colorado Boulder, claim to use “an exceptionally high capacity cathode” with a high capacity lithium metal anode in combination with a high ionic conductivity solid separator. The result is a battery with two-three time more energy density than a li-ion, and that can be produced at a lower cost (given that it eliminates many of the additional safety features associated with li-ion).

It says that this technology has the potential to offer in the future a battery system that provides long electrical range with enhanced safety and performance compared to conventional li-ion battery cells.

BMW will work as in joint effort with the company to develop this battery technology for use in its EVs, noting that it “has great potential to provide the BMW Group’s electric vehicles with increased driving range and a battery with a longer shelf-life that can withstand high temperatures.”

“Since the company’s inception, the Solid Power team has worked to develop and scale a competitive solid-state battery paying special attention to safety, performance, and cost,” said Solid Power’s founder and CEO Doug Campbell. “Collaborating with BMW is further validation that solid-state battery innovations will continue to improve electric vehicles. We’re looking forward to working with BMW on pushing the limits on developments around xEV batteries.”

Having recently moved to a new facility in Louisville, Solid Power has tripled its footprint and now has the capabilities necessary to build commercial-quality solid-state battery prototypes. It now expects to double its executive and innovation team over the next three years.

 

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