QuantumScape records breakthrough performance for solid-state batteries


From pv magazine USA

After 10 secretive years, several hundred million dollars spent, and the efforts of hundreds of scientists and engineers, QuantumScape went public this week with performance results for its solid-state batteries and their potential impact on the electric vehicle industry.

In a world of breakthrough battery performance claims, QuantumScape seems closest to actually building better batteries. The company’s “anode-less” design and ceramic separator create a battery where an anode of metallic lithium is formed in situ when the finished cell is charged.

“The best battery scientists have tested our batteries in their labs – and we’re releasing test results for the first time,” said CEO Jagdeep Singh.

Performance data

Test conditions: The tested cells were single-layer pouch cells with zero excess lithium on the anode and thick cathodes – running at rates of 1 C charge and 1 C discharge at 30 C.

Fast charge: Performance testing show QuantumScape’s ceramic separators working at high rates of power that allow a 15-minute charge to 80% capacity. That’s beyond what any type of EV battery is capable of delivering – conventional or solid-state. Because there’s no dendrite formation, there’s no need to throttle back on charging.

CEO Jagdeep Singh claimed that the company's lithium-metal battery has an energy density exceeding 400 watt-hours per kilogram. “If you don’t use lithium metal at the anode, you can’t get energy density high enough,” Singh said.

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Zero excess lithium: The solid-state design eliminates the carbon or carbon/silicon anode and increases energy density because it uses no excess lithium on the anode.

Long life: According to the company, the firm’s battery technology is capable of running for over 800 cycles with greater than 80% capacity retention and is claimed to be “designed to last for hundreds of thousands of miles of driving.”

Low-temperature operation: The flexible ceramic separator operates down to -30 C, temperatures that make other battery designs fail.

Safety: QuantumScape’s solid-state separator is noncombustible and isolates the anode from the cathode, even at high temperatures.

While the panel of rock-star battery experts maintained a healthy skepticism about battery breakthroughs (and even cited that Edison quote), they did seem impressed by the QuantumScape numbers.

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