Battery developer QuantumScape (NYSE: QS) has shipped its first 24-layer prototype lithium-metal battery cells to automotive OEMs for testing. The company calls the delivery of these A0 samples its key public milestone for the year, and says it represents an important step toward the commercialization of this technology.
With the sample cells, the OEMs can start the testing process at their facilities and provide feedback on their performance.
Each of these prototype cells has 24 layers, each comprising a solid-state separator, a cathode, and an in-situ-formed lithium-metal anode. The company says they have capacities in the multi-amp-hour range, which should be suitable for a variety of applications, including automotive and consumer electronics.
The A0 cells were built in QuantumScape’s new cell architecture, a hybrid between prismatic and pouch formats that’s designed to support the uniaxial expansion and contraction of the lithium metal during charge and discharge.
QuantumScape says it still has substantial work ahead to bring this technology to market, including “improvements to the quality, consistency and throughput of its production processes, and additional enhancements on the product side, such as increased cathode capacity loading and improved packaging efficiency. The company expects to deliver improvements on these fronts in subsequent generations of A, B and C samples over the coming years.”
“While this milestone brings us closer to our ultimate goal, there’s still a lot to do before this technology becomes a commercial product, and we now turn our attention to this important work,” said Jagdeep Singh, CEO and co-founder of QuantumScape.