Solid Power, a developer of solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, aims to start shipping pre-production battery cells for validation testing by partners BMW and Ford by the end of the year, the company told Reuters on Monday.
In an interview with the news agency, Doug Campbell, chief executive and co-founder of Solid Power, said the Colorado company has set up a pilot production line to provide automakers with validation samples as it looks for a manufacturing partner to supply its cells as early as possible. to produce. as 2026.
One potential partner, he told Reuters, is Korea’s SK Innovation, which is building joint venture battery plants with Ford in Tennessee and Kentucky.
“In the long run, we don’t aspire to be a cell producer,” he said.
Campbell told Reuters that Solid Power has sufficient capacity to supply battery cell prototypes to other automakers, but declined to provide specific details.
The company, which went public through a reverse merger in 2021, attracted early investments from Hyundai and Samsung, in addition to Ford and BMW.
Campbell acknowledged the intense competition in solid-state battery development between the “big boys – groups such as Toyota, Panasonic, Samsung, LG Energy Solution, Hyundai and CATL”.
“We are in a space between a lot of very prominent and credible players,” he told Reuters.
The Solid Power battery cell features a sulfide-based, solid-state electrolyte, the medium through which lithium ions flow between positive and negative electrodes during charging and discharging.
Battery cells with solid state electrolytes have a significantly lower risk of catching fire from internal short circuits than those with liquid electrolytes.
Campbell told Reuters that Solid Power’s cells, which currently use silicon-rich anodes and nickel-cobalt-manganese cathodes, have the potential to retain more energy — giving electric vehicles greater range — and cost less than conventional lithium-ion batteries. ion batteries.
Solid Power has also designed its solid state cells to be compatible with current lithium ion production processes.