QuantumScape went public in September via a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company). Its ticker symbol is QS and is up 62% YTD.
If you choose to invest, understand that this is a highly speculative bet. It’s got a high ceiling and low floor. It could be worth billions or zero.
What they're trying to do
On almost every performance metric, EVs lag internal combustion engines.
QuantumScape wants to level the playing field by inventing and manufacturing the world’s first solid-state battery.
What’s a solid-state battery? From Wired:
Instead of a conventional liquid electrolyte—the stuff that ferries lithium ions between electrodes—it uses a solid electrolyte. Also, the battery’s negative terminal, called its anode, is made from pure lithium metal. This combination would send its energy density through the roof, enable ultra-fast charging, and would eliminate the risk of battery fires.
This video explains the difference between the batteries we use today (lithium-ion) and solid-state batteries.
On Tuesday, December 8, QuantumScape's cofounder and CEO, Jagdeep Singh, publicly revealed test results for the company’s solid-state battery.
Singh says the battery resolved all of the core challenges that have plagued solid-state batteries in the past, such as incredibly short lifetimes and slow charging rate.
According to QuantumScape’s data, its cell can charge to 80 percent of capacity in 15 minutes, it retains more than 80 percent of its capacity after 800 charging cycles, it’s noncombustible, and it has a volumetric energy density of more than 1,000 watt-hours per liter at the cell level, which is nearly double the energy density of top-shelf commercial lithium-ion cells.
With a potential market worth $82 billion by 2027, competition will be vicious.
Toyota will debut its solid-state battery at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. But admits that mass production won't be ready until 2025 or 2030.
A six-year old startup called Solid Power is also producing a line of solid-state batteries and has partnerships with Ford, BMW, and Hyundai.
The bottom line
Like I said at the top. This is a highly speculative bet with a wide range of potential outcomes.
Christopher Robinson, a senior analyst at Lux Research, thinks it'll be 5-10 years before solid-state batteries are used in mass production. So patience is mandatory.