Quantumscape Plans 1 Gigawatt Hour Battery Plant in 2024

Quantumscape is a solid-state battery company that has funding from Volkswagen and Bill Gates. Quantumscape plans to go public with a SPAC deal before the end of the year. The deal should result in a valuation of $3.3 billion and leave Quantumscape with over $1 billion to fund its factory and plans.

There is a 37-page Investor Presentation.

Quantumscape believes they can get battery energy density to 500 Wh/kg and a battery cost reduction of 17%. They will start building a pilot factory in about one year and that factory will produce 1 gigawatt-hour of batteries per year. If batteries cost $50 per kwh in 2024 then selling all of the production at a fully ramped pilot plant would make $50 million per year. They would then expand the plant for 20 GWh/year plant. The expanded plant would start producing in 2027. A full-sized plant would also be built and start production in 2027. The full-sized plant would have 2 to 4 times the capacity of the first expanded plant. Their financials show they expect to make about $70/kwh from the batteries they make in 2028.

Prologium is another solid-state battery company but they have had a 40MWh/year pilot plant in operation since 2017. Prologium plans to have 2 Gigawatt hour/year plant working by 2022 and a 7 GWh/year plant working in 2023. Prologium admits that they are currently more expensive than lithium-ion but hope to get to lithium-ion battery costs in 2023 with the 7GWh/year plant. In 2025, Prologium plans to reach 900 Wh/L batteries. The Tesla 2170 cell has 680 Wh/L capacity now and Tesla Battery Day talk indicated they will improve battery costs and the energy density with anode and cathode improvements.

Tesla, CATL and the other battery makers are scaling to terawatt-hours per year and continuing to drive down costs and increase energy density. Tesla has already spent a few years, billions on acquisitions and R&D on the new batteries and factory technology revealed at battery day. Tesla is refining the production processes for new batteries and the new batteries have been produced in the tens of thousands. Tesla is on the fourth iteration of Maxwell Technology drycell production processes and they are iterating every 3-4 months.

Pouch form factor batteries cannot be made into structural parts of the body of the car. Tesla has made its new batteries into a structural slab on the base of the car. Tesla battery system reduces the need for structural steel.

New battery technology needs to be able to reach $10 per kwh and scale to terawatt-hours per year by 2030 to displace lithium-ion with silicon anodes.

Tesla dry cells and silicon anodes mean that solid-state batteries will not be able to beat advanced lithium-ion on energy density.

It has been claimed that solid-state batteries would enable Volkswagen and Toyota to leapfrog Tesla battery technology. This will not happen.

SOURCES – Quantumscape, Prologium – Moneyball Medium
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com (Brian owns shares of Tesla)