(Photo of Electric Vehicle Courtesy of BMW)
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Energy storage startup Volta Energy Technologies is investing in a rechargeable batteries developer which has also attracted some other major partners as it scales up to utility-level capacity.
Volta joins a group of investors in Solid Power, which develops solid-state rechargeable batteries. Others helping fund Solid Power include Hyundai, Samsung, A-123 and BMW Group as investors.
BMW Group and Solid Power announced a strategic partnership in December 2017. Volta itself has funding from chemicals and lithium supplier Albemarle and automotive supplier Hanon Systems.
Solid Power will use the funding to position the company for production scale-up to MWh-scale, thereby aiding the company’s efforts to position its lithium-metal enabling technology as a viable competitor to current Li-ion batteries as the high-performance battery of choice for mobile power applications.
“Volta brings more than just financial resources to the table. Their technical expertise and network of industry partners will further support Solid Power’s growth as we continue to develop technology that can power the automotive industry’s next generation of batteries,” said Solid Power CEO Doug Campbell.
Solid Power is the third addition to Volta’s portfolio of technologies and businesses aimed at enabling the global adoption of electric vehicles and renewable power generation. Volta selected Solid Power because of the early stage company’s potential to solve key technical hurdles for Volta’s EV industry partners and stakeholders.
“Solid Power’s technical advantages—higher energy, improved safety, and lower cost—make them particularly attractive to Volta’s strategic investors,” said Volta Chief Technology Officer Dave Schroeder. “We look forward to working with our strategic investor partners to pave the way for broader commercialization of Solid Power’s lithium-metal technology at this critical moment for the company and industry as a whole.”
Solid Power’s solid-state batteries contain no liquid electrolyte and are instead comprised of proprietary inorganic materials, enabling a lithium-metal based battery with higher energy density without volatile or flammable components. Increasing energy density and safety through solid-state batteries can dramatically improve the performance, simplicity, and cost of electric vehicles. The potential for competitive advantage posed by these materials has been recognized by automakers across the globe.
Volta launched in December 2017 with a new model to identify and invest in breakthrough technologies that will impact a crowded energy storage market. The combination of Volta’s relationships with Argonne National Laboratory and its strategic industry partners, such as Albemarle and Exelon, will help to maximize impact and returns in this opportunity-rich sector.