Ford Motor Company and BMW AG have announced new equity investment in Solid Power, a leading producer of all-solid-state batteries for EVs. Initially investing in Solid Power in 2019, Ford is making an additional investment to help accelerate further development of solid-state vehicle battery technology, contributing to a $130 million Series B investment round in which the BMW Group becomes an equal equity owner with Ford.
Solid Power, which uses sulfide-based solid-state battery cells, offers batteries that are designed to power longer range, lower cost and safer electric vehicles using existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure.
Under the new agreement, Ford will receive full-scale 100 ampere hour (Ah) cells from Solid Power for testing and integration into its future vehicles starting next year. Solid Power already is producing 20 Ah solid-state batteries on a pilot manufacturing line using lithium-ion production processes and equipment.
Ford also has a separate joint development agreement with Solid Power to develop and test its specific battery cell design and help streamline Ford’s integration into future vehicles.
Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer, says: “Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that’s why we’re investing in it directly as well as accelerating Ford’s in-house R&D on next-generation battery technology. Leveraging the speed of a startup and the expertise of some of the most seasoned battery experts in the world at Ford, we’re exploring different ways to power tomorrow’s fun-to-drive all-electric vehicles, using proven development and manufacturing processes.”
“By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, we’ll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume and ultimately deliver lower costs and better value for customers,” adds Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of electrification subsystems and power supply research. “We look forward to delivering these improvements and working with Solid Power to seamlessly and quickly integrate their sulfide-based all-solid-state battery cells into existing lithium-ion cell production processes more efficiently than oxide-based solid-state battery cell makers can.”
Doug Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Solid Power, comments: “BMW and Ford now share leading positions in the race for all solid-state battery-powered electric vehicles. Solid Power now plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company’s pilot production line in early 2022 as a result of our partners’ continued commitment to Solid Power’s commercialization efforts.”
Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development, says: “Together we have developed a 20 Ah all solid-state cell that is absolutely outstanding in this field. Over the past 10 years BMW has continuously increased the battery cell competence– important partners like Solid Power share our vision of a zero-emission mobility.”
To date, Ford has secured more than 2,500 U.S. patents in electrification technologies, with another 4,300 patents pending and has sold more than 1 million hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles since 2004.