Volkswagen has acquired a 5% stake in US battery startup QuantumScape, with an option to buy more, and it is evaluating the company’s solid-state battery tech with an eye to using it in VW’s next generation of EVs.
Last November, Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn said he saw “great potential” in solid-state batteries, which potentially offer greater energy density and greater safety than current liquid-electrolyte designs. This week, Winterkorn told Bloomberg (via Green Car Reports) that “progress has been made,” and that VW will be able to decide whether QuantumScape’s battery tech is ready for prime time by July.
The world’s automakers are racing to develop a new generation of EVs with greatly improved range, and VW is expected to launch its offering around 2018 or after.
New battery tech would certainly help to achieve the 200-mile goal, and VW isn’t the only company checking out the benefits of solid-state. GM Ventures sunk a chunk of change into another US startup, Sakti3, in 2010.