Solid-state batteries are widely viewed as the next major technological leap for electric vehicles due to their longer range, faster charging times, reduced fire risk and lower production cost. In line with this, BMW Group is expanding its Joint Development Agreement with the US company Solid Power to include building a prototype assembly line at the Cell Manufacturing Competence Center Germany.
An interview with Peter Lamp, BMW’s Head of Battery R&D revealed that the automaker will begin production in the first half of this year, with the goal of developing battery cells large enough to test in a vehicle before 2025 if the technology meets certain performance targets.
BMW will build a replica of Solid Power’s pilot battery production line after licensing the battery cell design and manufacturing process for $20 million. Solid Power currently operates its own pilot assembly line, which produces 300 cells per week.
According to Solid Power, their 77-kilowatt-hour battery pack weighs 46% less and has a 16% longer range than a standard lithium-ion pack. Furthermore, it is 40% less expensive and charges much faster. The 2020 Solid Power battery prototype had 330 watt-hours per kilogram and could recover 50% of its charge in 15 minutes at room temperature.
Apart from BMW, Ford has invested in Solid Power. Executives from both automakers sit on the battery industry’s board of directors and are all looking forward to Solid Power being their cell supplier.