Tuesday, June 30, 2020

ICYMI: "Volkswagen sinks another $200 million into solid-state battery company QuantumScape"

We learned long ago that wonderful as a battery technology or manufacturing technique may sound, it is very hard for them to scale from lab to driveway. Hence the paucity of posts on batteries in recent years, it's interesting, even fascinating stuff but tough to make a buck from. Better to make your almost perfectly timed cobalt trade than hope for something new(ish) to scale up)
This is one that might.
From TechCrunch, June 16:
Volkswagen said Tuesday it has invested another $200 million into QuantumScape, a Stanford University spinout developing solid-state batteries as the automaker bets on a next-generation technology that will unlock longer ranges and faster charging times in electric vehicles.

Volkswagen’s relationship with QuantumScape, which had early backing from Kleiner Perkins and Khosla Ventures, actually stretches back to 2012. The two companies formed a joint venture in 2018 to accelerate the development of solid-state battery technology and then produce them at commercial scale.

Volkswagen made an initial $100 million investment into QuantumScape in September 2018. The additional $200 million aims to accelerate that joint development work, according to Thomas Schmall, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Group components, which has end-to-end responsibility for batteries....

A couple posts as background for solid state batteries:
October 2019
The Guy Who Just Won The Nobel for the Lithium-ion Battery Has An Idea For the Next Generation of Batteries
November 2018 
"A Chinese startup may have cracked solid-state batteries"

And contra, September 2018:
"Why lithium-ion may rule batteries for a long time to come"
You won't find many of the battery "breakthroughs" on Climateer Investing.
So many new chemistries or manufacturing techniques look good in a lab and just don't scale.

We could post a breakthrough every single day to no greater effect than wasting the reader's time.
If we see something that might be profitable we'll probably post it, a recent example is turning positive on lithium producer Albemarle after being in thrall to cobalt for twenty-four months.

From MIT's Technology Review:....
And maybe 300 more on batteries in general, companies that have come and gone and ideas the never panned out. Use the 'search blog' box if interested.