Established for ten years in the United States, QuantumScape is preparing revolutionary battery technology. It will allow extremely fast recharges, more reliability and a longer lifespan. A solid project, which received praise from a Tesla co-founder and secured a partnership with Volkswagen.
The ultra-reliable battery that recharges in 15 minutes, everyone dreams of it, some promise it, but only a small handful of manufacturers will actually manage to market it. QuantumScape is on course to be one of them. The Californian company was established in 2010 and aims to bring to the market a battery for electric cars with remarkable performance. Unlike traditional lithium-ion liquid electrolyte batteries, the QuantumScape model is a solid-state solid-state battery. Many companies are currently looking for the best “recipe”, without always communicating on their progress.
15 minutes to recover 80% of energy
Conversely, QuantumScape has just unveiled some promising data. The solid battery variant it is developing is based on flexible ceramic separators. Along with other ingredients, this material should provide particularly good performance. The first test publicly revealed by the brand shows a mind-boggling load curve: the prototype cell went from 0 to 80% in just 15 minutes.
The company announces a fast charge ratio of “4C”, which means, for example, that a 50 kWh battery will be able to accept up to 200 kW of power and 400 kW for a 100 kWh model. To compare, current accumulators are limited to a ratio of around 2C and 3C for models fitted to the most prestigious vehicles (Tesla, Porsche Taycan).
The “healthy” life of the QuantumScape battery is estimated at over 800 cycles, after which the capacity drops below 80%. This would equate to a mileage of 240,000 miles (386,242 km) according to the company. Unattainable longevity for current battery technologies. Most electric cars with high mileage have thus experienced one or more replacements of their pack.
Future Volkswagen battery?
While the Californian start-up has not published detailed data on the energy density of its model, it announces a “potential for improvement” of 50 to 100% compared to technologies today. Its battery would thus reach a density of 350 to 500 Wh / kg, still far from the very theoretical 1000 Wh / kg announced by its competitor Innolith, but much better than the current 150 to 300 Wh / kg.
This first portrait of the QuantumScape battery has seduced several specialists such as the co-founder and ex-engineer of Tesla J.B. Straubel. This is a “major breakthrough” for the automotive battery expert, who praises the technological challenges the company has succeeded in meeting. It remains to succeed in large-scale production. It’s gotten off to a good start, as QuantumScape has secured a partnership with Volkswagen to supply 20 GWh of batteries by 2024-2025. The Wall Street-listed company has a generous $ 1.5 billion to make it happen.