The carmaker is increasing its stake in the California start-up QuantumScape. Volkswagen is investing up to $200 million.
Volkswagen is driving the development of new battery cells for electric cars. To this end, the Wolfsburg-based company is increasing its stake in the Californian start-up QuantumScape and is investing another up to $200 million in the US battery specialist.
VW and QuantumScape founded a joint venture in 2018 to explore whether solid cells can be produced industrially. The solid-state battery cell is considered to be the most promising approach for the next generation of electromobility, VW announced on Tuesday.
Both companies have been working together since 2012, before investing in 2018, VW already held five percent of QuantumScape. Since then, there has been no precise information on how many shares the Wolfsburg-based company holds – only the repeated wording that it is the largest automobile shareholder.
But it is clear what VW expects from the investment: longer ranges and shorter charging times for the upcoming electric cars. “We are making technological advances with our partner QuantumScape,” says Thomas Schmall, CEO of Volkswagen Group Components. “The additional investment will sustainably strengthen and accelerate our joint development work.”
The so-called solid-state batteries, which VW and QuantumScape want to develop together, promise significantly longer ranges and much faster charging times. In addition, they should be safer in the event of a crash. So far, however, they have mainly worked in the laboratory. A real race for this potential “miracle battery” has flared up in the automotive industry.