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Volkswagen and solid-state battery: what’s the state of play?

January 10, 2024

Collaboration with QuantumScape

Volkswagen provides the answer to that question. “The solid-state battery is widely seen as the holy grail for future electric cars. This new technology promises greater driving range, shorter charging times and maximum safety. The Amerindian startup QuantumScape, in which Volkswagen has invested for many years, recently achieved a new milestone in this field,” the manufacturer said.

Over half a million kilometers

In an extensive test, the new solid-state battery exceeded all of the manufacturer’s expectations. The battery withstood more than 1,000 charging cycles, which for an electric car with a driving range of 500 to 600 kilometers is equivalent to more than half a million miles traveled. Moreover, the end of the test showed that the battery barely decreased in capacity, with a residual capacity of 95%.

Frank Blome, CEO of PowerCo

“These are promising results that impressively endorse the potential of the solid-state battery,” said Frank Blome, CEO of PowerCo, the battery arm of the Volkswagen Group. “The final result of this development could be a battery cell that enables a long range, can be charged super fast and is virtually nonaging. Together with our partner QuantumScape, we are continuing to work at full speed on the development of the solid-state battery to get it ready for series production.”

Volkswagen solid-state battery

From development to series production

As a criterion for the development and testing of solid-state batteries, from the industry’s point of view, there are typically 700 charge cycles, at which a maximum capacity loss of 20 percent may occur. Values that QuantumScape’s solid-state battery far exceeded. QuantumScape’s technology also met all requirements in terms of criteria such as fast-charging capacity, safety and discharge.

Solid-state battery and Volkswagen

The next step toward serial production of the solid-state battery is now to perfect and scale up the manufacturing processes. Incidentally, Volkswagen’s unified cell concept developed by PowerCo is in principle also suitable for the use of solid-state cell technology. The Volkswagen Group has been involved with QuantumScape since 2012 and is one of the main investors in the technology startup. An official launch date for solid state batteries from Volkswagen has not yet been announced. Toyota, in turn, will come out with these batteries in 2027.