Volkswagen is investing $10 million in Colorado-based startup Forge Nano, which is researching a material coating technology that could improve the performance of battery materials. Volkswagen will provide support for industrial trials of this technology.
Forge Nano is headquartered in Louisville, Colorado, and is researching processes for scaling atomic layer deposition (ALD) to create new core-shell materials for battery applications. ALD is a chemical process for applying atomic-scale coatings one atom at a time. With its ALD technology, Forge Nano aims to boost the energy density of vehicle battery cells.
Volkswagen began collaborating on battery material research with Forge Nano in 2014.
Volkswagen plans to offer more than 50 EV models by 2025, accounting for about a fifth of its entire model portfolio. Volkswagen is working with battery cell suppliers and developing their own knowledge in battery research. The company is increasingly investing in international start-ups to bring technologies to production maturity.
Dr. Axel Heinrich, Head of Volkswagen Group Research, says, “At Volkswagen, we want to be the world’s leading provider of e-mobility. Cooperation with start-ups is a key element in these efforts. We are acting as a partner to Forge Nano and intend to provide the team with opportunities to carry out industrial trials with its innovative technology.”