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QuantumScape begins customer shipments of Alpha-2 prototypes

QuantumScape Corporation, a developer of next-generation solid-state lithium-metal battery technology, has started customer shipments of Alpha-2 prototype battery cells, fulfilling a goal for 2024.

Alpha-2 prototypes are a significant milestone on the roadmap to deliver QSE-5, QuantumScape’s first planned commercial product. QuantumScape entered the automotive qualification process in December 2022 after shipping A0 prototypes to customers. Alpha-2 prototypes integrate many of the company’s significant component improvements made over the last year.

The six-layer Alpha-2 prototype is more energy-dense than the earlier 24-layer A0 prototype. This is primarily due to higher-loading cathodes (i.e., packed with more active material) and more efficient packaging that optimizes the materials and space within the cell. The packaging improvements include tighter internal margins, thinner current collectors, and a slimmer design, all of which are integral to the final product.

As an intermediate step between the A0 and the QSE-5 B0 prototypes planned for later this year, Alpha-2 cells feature the main functionality of the QSE-5 and are an opportunity for customers to test key performance parameters and prototype-level reliability.

While Alpha-2 prototypes are being tested in customer labs, QuantumScape is working to integrate those component-level improvements into the planned QSE-5 cells, which will consist of 24 layers and use electrolyte-separators produced using the faster Raptor equipment and process.

The Alpha-2 shipments represent an important milestone on our path to commercialization. Customer feedback is the most critical input in the product development cycle as it provides insight into areas that need improvement and strengthens collaboration. The faster we can get new product iterations into customers’ hands, the faster we get to production. We are very encouraged by the initial Alpha-2 performance results and excited about the first QSE-5 cells we expect to manufacture later this year.

—Dr. Siva Sivaram, president and CEO of QuantumScape

The improvements in energy and power densities demonstrated by the Alpha-2 prototypes indicate that QSE-5 can push the boundaries of solid-state battery performance. We continue to advance our anode-free, solid-state battery in performance and maturity with methodical execution on our milestones.

—Tim Holme, co-founder and CTO of QuantumScape

The company will continue to build and ship Alpha-2 prototypes to automotive customers over the coming months while focusing on reliability improvements and ramping up production. QuantumScape’s remaining key goals for 2024 include ramping up the Raptor production process, beginning low-volume QSE-5 prototype production, and preparing for high-volume production of its solid-state electrolyte-separator using the Cobra equipment and process, which is set to begin in 2025.


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