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Solid Power receives investment from Ford Motor Company

The investment will help Solid Power develop its solid-state batteries for automotive use

Solid Power is teaming up with Ford Motor Company to develop all solid-state batteries (ASSB) for next-generation electric vehicles. Solid-state batteries offer improved energy and safety as compared to current industry-standard lithium-ion batteries.

The announced partnership will focus on further developing ASSBs toward automotive requirements. This partnership will heavily leverage Solid Power’s first fully automated, roll-to-roll production facility, which is anticipated to be fully operational in the second quarter 2019.

This follows Solid Power’s announcement in September of 2018 that it closed US$20 million in a Series A investment round.

Ford Motor Company participated in a subsequent closing of that round, which included investors Volta Energy Technologies, Hyundai CRADLE, Samsung Venture Investment Corp., Sanoh Industrial Co., Solvay Ventures, and A123 Systems.

In December of 2017, Solid Power announced its partnership with the BMW Group to jointly develop Solid Power’s solid-state batteries for EV applications and to tailor Solid Power’s technology toward automotive requirements for high-performance EVs.

“Solid-state battery technology has the potential to help us deliver electric vehicles that are even safer and more capable,” said Ford Motor Company vice-president of research and advanced engineering and chief technology officer, Ken Washington. “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.”

Solid Power’s co-founder and CEO Doug Campbell said: “Companies like Ford are part of the movement that is changing the automotive industry and we are honoured to be working together.”

“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% increase in cell level energy vs. 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.”

As a result of this improved energy potential, Campbell stated that ASSBs are receiving strong interest from a wide array of markets beyond transportation including aerospace, medical devices, and defence among several others.

An additional benefit of Solid Power’s ASSBs is improved safety as compared to lithium-ion batteries due to the elimination of flammable liquid electrolyte. Thus there is potential for reducing system-level cost by reducing reliance on engineering solutions typically deployed in lithium-ion systems to assure safe operation of the battery pack.

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