The Volkswagen Group is increasing its stake in QuantumScape and making an additional investment of up to $200 million in the U.S. battery specialist. The goal is to drive forward the joint development of solid-state battery technology.
In the future, solid-state batteries are expected to significantly increase range and shorten charging times further. “We are making technological progress with our partner QuantumScape.
“The additional investment will effectively strengthen and accelerate our joint development work”, said Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components, which has end-to-end responsibility for batteries. The Volkswagen Group and QuantumScape have also been collaborating in a joint venture to enable industrial-level production of solid-state batteries since 2018.
“Volkswagen is taking e-mobility to the mainstream. A strong position in batteries is a decisive factor in this regard”, said Frank Blome, Head of the Battery Cell business, Volkswagen Group Components. “We are securing our global supply base with efficient producers, gradually building up manufacturing capacities and driving the development of cutting-edge solid-state battery technology. Our focus in this context is on long-term strategic partnerships.”
Solid-state batteries are seen as the most promising technology for the next-but-one generation of e-mobility. With the same size of a current battery pack, the solid-state battery could enable ranges for electric vehicles that are comparable to those for conventional drivetrains. Moreover, charging time could be significantly shortened.
The Volkswagen Group has already been collaborating with QuantumScape since 2012, and is the largest automotive shareholder with its previous investment of more than $100 million. Closing of the new additional investment of up to $200 million and the associated increase of Volkswagen’s stake in QuantumScape is still subject to various conditions. The two partners formed a joint venture in 2018 to enable industrial-level production of solid-state batteries for Volkswagen. Both partners envisage setting up a pilot plant and the plans are anticipated to be firmed up in the course of this year.
Expanding e-mobility is an important building block on the road to a carbon neutral balance for the company as a whole. This goal is to be achieved by 2050. The Volkswagen Group is therefore fully committed to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.