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Solid-state battery company Solid Power closes $20M in Series A; Hyundai, Samsung, A123 among investors

Solid Power, a developer of all solid-state batteries (ASSB), closed $20 million in a Series A investment round. The Series A funding will allow the company to scale-up production via a multi-MWh roll-to-roll facility, which will be fully constructed and installed by the end of 2018 and fully operational in 2019.

This production capacity will be utilized for preliminary qualification of the company’s solid-state cells for multiple markets including automotive, aerospace and defense. The company’s ultimate objective is to displace lithium-ion as the battery of choice for high performance, mobile power applications.

Series A syndicate investors include Hyundai CRADLE, Samsung Venture Investment Corp., Sanoh Industrial Co., Solvay Ventures, and A123 Systems.

ASSB have generated substantial interest for mobile power applications due to their ability to provide greater run-time per charge and excellent overall product reliability and safety.

The automotive industry, in its pursuit of vehicle electrification, is particularly interested in ASSB to boost vehicle range, while using an overall safer and simpler energy storage system as compared to current state of the art lithium-ion batteries.

We are at the center of the ‘electrification of everything’ with ASSB technology emerging as the clear leader in ‘post lithium-ion’ technologies. Solid-state batteries are a game changer for EV, electronics, defense, and medical device markets, and Solid Power’s technology is poised to revolutionize the industry with a competitive product paying special attention to safety, performance, and cost.

—,co-founder and CEO Doug Campbell

In December 2017, Solid Power announced its partnership with the BMW Group to jointly develop Solid Power’s solid-state batteries for electric vehicle applications and to tailor Solid Power’s technology toward automotive requirements for high performance electric vehicles. (Earlier post.)

A few months earlier, in September 2017, A123 Systems also announced its investment in Solid Power.

Solid Power’s solid-state batteries provide substantially higher energy than conventional lithium-ion while also reducing system-level cost by reducing reliance on many expensive engineering solutions typically deployed in lithium-ion systems to assure safe operation of the battery pack.

The technology combines a cathode, metallic lithium anode, and a safe, inorganic solid electrolyte layer. The advantages of Solid Power’s solid-state batteries include:

  • 2 – 3X higher energy vs. current lithium-ion

  • Substantially improved safety due to the elimination of the volatile, flammable, and corrosive liquid electrolyte as used in lithium-ion

  • Low-cost battery-pack designs through minimization of safety features; elimination of pack cooling; and greatly simplified cell, module, and pack designs through the elimination of the need for liquid containment

  • High manufacturability due to compatibility with automated, industry-standard, roll-to-roll production

Solid Power originated as a spin-out from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Comments

SJC

$20 million here but $20 billion for Twitter.

HarveyD

This product, lower cost, safer (SS 3X batteries) is very interesting for future affordable extended range LD vehicles and first generation mass produced e-buses and e-trucks.

A very large automated factory for mass production (unless built in China) would cost up to 1000 times more.

gryf

There is not much information on the SolidPower web site about it's ASSB.
There is an article on Quartz that states "It uses market-available cathode materials, which are near the limits of their theoretical performance today, in combination with a lithium-metal anode and a solid electrolyte made up of lithium, sulfur, and phosphorus" and "the battery only functions properly at temperatures above room temperature and up to 150°C (300°F)." Also, "Josh Garrett, Solid Power’s chief technology officer, says that the goal is to bring down manufacturing cost to $100/kWh—about a third of the current price of lithium-ion batteries."

I did find a patent application US20170331148A1 by Thomas A. Yersak, SeHee Lee, and Conrad Stoldt from the U of Colorado Boulder and founders of SolidPower that discusses a Lithium all-solid-state battery made with an Iron Sulfide based cathode and a solid state electrolyte.
This would be an interesting basis for the ASSB, since the materials are cheap (btw the same as an Energizer AA primary battery) and have high energy density particularly if the battery is operated at 60 degrees C.

SJC

Gryf,
Good work on the research, I would rather have contributions than attempted intimidation.

sd

HarveyD:

If it highly automated, the cells do not need to be made where labor is cheap. They could be made for the market where they will be used.

HarveyD

Since the majority of (affordable) electrified vehicles are made and sold in China and large battery plants are built faster and at a lower cost in China, it will make sense that both affordable SS batteries and affordable electrified vehicles be built in China, specially for the China large market.

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