In a press release this week, solid-state battery manufacturer QuantumScape announced it’s seeking additional funds to expand its QS-0 pilot line. The company plans to use the funds to double the size of the originally announced pilot line. QuantumScape will use this pilot line to manufacture prototype cells for its partner Volkswagen Group and other potential automakers.
QuantumScape ($QS) has been around since 2010 and has been working with Volkswagen Group since 2012. Since then, VW has invested over $300 million in the company and its quest to develop scalable, effective solid-state batteries.
The company went public last fall via a reverse SPAC merger with Kensington Capital Acquisition. Its stock jumped 50% on the first day. Since the merger, QuantumScape has overcome several hurdles in its solid-state battery development. Last December, it announced a “major breakthrough” using a ceramic separator and successful testing of single-layer prototype cells.
Comparing QuantumScape’s solid-state battery technology to traditional lithium-ion batteries
Last month, QuantumScape announced plans for a “QS-0” pilot factory in California ahead of the full-fledged solid-state factory. The plant was originally said to have a limited capacity of 100,000 cells per year:
“QS-0 is intended to have a continuous flow, high automation line capable of building over 100,000 engineering cell samples per year. We expect to secure a long-term lease for a second building with approximately two hundred thousand square feet in the second half of this year and for QS-0 to be producing cells by 2023.”
With today’s announcement, Quantumscape is now looking to expand the QS-0 pilot line much quicker.
QuantumScape wants to expand solid-state lines
In a press release this week, QuantumScape announced an underwritten public offering of 13,000,000 shares of its Class A common stock.
QuantumScape intends to use the net proceeds it receives from the offering to build a larger QS-0 pre-pilot line than recently announced; to cover its full share of equity contributions to its joint venture with VW for the previously disclosed 20GWh expansion of QS-1 joint manufacturing facility; and for working capital and general corporate purposes.
The potential millions of additional funds for QuantumScape would help expand its QS-0 line of solid-state batteries. As a result, the funding would help the manufacturer produce more cells for its partner in Volkswagen. QuantumScape has previously stated plans to begin production of prototype solid-state cells in 2023.
There are still a lot of skeptics inside and out of the comments section surrounding solid-state batteries. QuantumScape’s own stock value is an excellent litmus test of this fact. Since going public, its value has been a roller coaster of fluctuation. It has previously seen jumps up 20% and has just as easily dropped down 10% at times.
A concrete timeline when solid-state batteries can or will become scalable is still up for debate. As we mentioned, QuantumScape hopes to produce solid-state prototype cells by 2023. As one of the leaders in developing the technology, QuantumScape has remained rather reserved about its breakthroughs.
Right now, we truly don’t know how far along they are. Call it a cop-out, but if QuantumScape is sitting on viable solid-state tech, why would they share it already? It’s not exactly an open source kind of tech… yet.
QuantumScape looking to double its pilot line for solid-state batteries should bode as a positive sign, though. We will have to see how this round of funding works out. Furthermore, let’s see how quickly the manufacturer can get the QS-0 line up and running. It would be swell to see some prototypes in action before getting too invested.
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