Fisker throws in the towel on solid-state battery development

Fisker throws in the towel on solid-state battery development

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

As recently as 2018, Fisker had announced that it would launch its planned EMotion sports car with a solid-state battery. In addition to the significantly reduced charging time of just one minute, such batteries are also supposed to offer an energy density that is higher by a factor of 2.5. According to Fisker’s plans at the time, this should enable a range of 800 km.

According to media reports, Fisker founder Henrik Fisker has now dropped this technology. The reason: the development was too expensive, the effort too high. “We came to the conclusion in the end, I think it was probably late 2019, early 2020 – I forget exactly when – that solid-state batteries are still very, very far away, they are not around the corner,” Fisker said in an interview with The Verge.

In contrast to his earlier assessment that the solid-state battery was almost within reach, Fisker has now concluded that volume production of solid-state batteries for the car industry is still at least seven years away. Once a breakthrough was made in research, it would take three years to set up mass production and another three years for durability testing.

Perhaps a legal dispute with battery specialist QuantumScape also plays a role: an employee of this company, which is working on similar technology, had moved to Fisker just over a year ago, taking extensive technical documentation with him. QuantumScape then sued Fisker; the legal dispute was dropped in return for compensation of $750,000.

Almost at the same time, another Fisker move towards series production of its second electric car became public: The company then signed an initial contract with Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) to work on a project codenamed “Project PEAR” (Personal Electric Automotive Revolution). This is the first public contract for Foxconn’s entry into the automotive technology and manufacturing business.

PEAR will be a “new segment” of personal transport, says chairman Henrik Fisker. It will also include leasing options, raising the possibility of personal driverless vehicles, and areas where Foxconn will focus its vehicle electronics.

Under the contract, Foxconn will assemble the vehicle by the end of 2023 with an annual volume of more than 250,000 units for North America, Europe, China and India. This would make the vehicle’s development time just 24 months – less than half the industry norm for such development, according to Fisker CTO Young-way Liu.

More information:

Related articles:

Fisker has vehicle brain developed by Magna

Fisker signs Foxconn to make its second electric car

QuantumScape sets up solid state battery pilot line

QuantumScape batteries promise higher range for EVs

QuantumScape batteries promise higher range for EVs

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