QuantumScape protoype Li-metal cell achieved 1,000+ full cycle equivalents with > 95% discharge energy retention in customer testing
QuantumScape (QS) announced that its top-performing 24-layer A0 prototype cell achieved 1,000+ full cycle equivalents with more than 95% discharge energy retention in one of its prospective customer’s battery testing labs.
QuantumScape said that it is not aware of any automotive-format lithium-metal battery that has shown such high discharge energy retention over a comparable cycle count, at room temperature and modest pressure.
This result is especially meaningful because the A0 prototype cell has the same number of layers as our production-intent cell and uses our proprietary cell format. Together with the higher-loading cathode results reported in our Q1 2023 shareholder letter, we have now separately demonstrated three key aspects of our production-intent cell design: 24 layers, higher cathode loading (~5mA/cm2), and our new cell format. When these aspects are combined with improvements to packaging efficiency and manufacturing process control and automation for improved reliability, it forms the core of our first commercial product, QSE-5. QSE-5 is designed to have ~5 amp-hours (Ah) of capacity; for reference, the 2170 battery used in several leading EV models has a typical capacity of ~4.5–5 Ah.
It’s important to keep in mind that, since QSE-5 will have higher-loading cathodes and more efficient packaging than our A0 prototype cell, it will sustain higher current densities and be built with tighter margins, resulting in more stress on the cell. We also must continue to work on producing these cells in large volumes with high quality and reliability. These factors present significant challenges. Nevertheless, we believe this remarkable result makes clear that our technology can achieve disruptive performance at commercial-intent layer counts, further increasing our confidence in the transformative potential of our technology and product roadmap.
In addition to continuing to collaborate with a prospective launch customer in the automotive sector, in Q3, QS entered into a technology evaluation agreement with a leading global consumer electronics player.
The single-layer cells that QS first reported on in Q3 2022 have now achieved between 1,500 to 2,000 cycles to ~80% discharge energy retention with zero externally applied pressure—1.5-4 times what QS believes to be the life cycle of many consumer electronics.
QS has named the proprietary, hybrid cell format that will be used in its planned first commercial product FlexFrame. FlexFrame combines conventional pouch and prismatic cell designs to address the expansion of lithium metal during charging/discharging and is designed to pack the same number of layers, with more energy per layer, into a slimmer package to occupy less space in EVs.