BMW to build solid state battery line in Germany

BMW to build solid state battery line in Germany

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Solid Power in the US has expanded its Joint Development Agreement with BMW, granting the group a $20m research and development license covering cell design and manufacturing.

This allows BMW to design its own cells and build its own prototype battery line in Germany based on the technology, speeding up commercialisation of the all-solid state cells and providing sovereign capability in Europe. It also follows a change of CEO at Solid Power this month.

Once the BMW Group installs its prototype production line, Solid Power says it expects to supply its sulfide-based electrolyte material to the Group for prototype cell production.

BMW plans to duplicate Solid Power’s pilot production lines in Colorado at its own facility in Germany, and engineers will work at Solid Power’s facilities to optimize cell manufacturing processes. 

“We could not be more excited about growing our relationship with BMW, a company that has demonstrated a strong commitment to Solid Power’s technology for the past seven years,” said Dr. Derek Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of Solid Power. “We believe this expanded partnership and increased collaboration is an added vote of confidence in Solid Power’s technology development.”

“BMW remains committed to the pursuit of all-solid-state batteries, a technology which we believe has significant potential for the future,” said Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development.

“We look forward to working even more closely with Solid Power and adding the capability to produce solid-state cells based on Solid Power’s designs at our own pilot facility. We expect this agreement to accelerate the installation of our solid-state prototype line and our companies’ mutual goal of commercializing this promising cell technology,” he said.

BMW has agreed to pay Solid Power the $20m through June 2024, subject to achieving certain milestones. The expanded Joint Development Agreement includes sharing of proprietary all-solid-state electrode and cell manufacturing know-how but does not include a license to intellectual property related to Solid Power’s electrolyte material, which remains its core business.

“Expanding our relationship with BMW is further evidence that both companies believe Solid Power is on the right track with its technology development,” said David Jansen, Interim CEO, President and Chair of Solid Power. He replaced Douglas Campbell who stepped down at the end of November.

The company had previously said it was on track to ship a 20Ah cell to BMW before the end of the year but is under pressure to compete with other solid state battery suppliers.

“I am encouraged by the progress our team continues to make toward achieving our company’s goals. Over the past several months, we began delivering 20 Ah cells to our partners, including BMW, for initial testing and commenced production of our initial EV cells. We look forward to bringing our electrolyte manufacturing facility online and commencing the formal automotive qualification process.”

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