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)

10 thoughts on “Quantumscape Plans 1 Gigawatt Hour Battery Plant in 2024”

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

    Tesla uses a dry electrode, where "dry" doesn't describe the battery but rather is a simplified manufacturing process that reduces manufacturing cost. It does NOT increase energy density. Also, silicon anodes, by definition cannot produce a denser battery than a solid state battery that uses NO anodes at all.

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  2. A litre of lithium, or rather a litre of battery, is just the volume of the box or can that everything has to fit into.
    Now that the Tesla batteries are the size of a very small can of softdrink, you can easily compare it to that volume of softdrink. About 200 mL if I recall correctly.

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  3. Is the quantumscape battery as shown in the slide suggesting that it physically expands when charged? That would prevent it's use as a structural battery due to size changes…

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  4. It depends on the density of the materials used in the battery. If the battery were really dense, it would take up less room in a device even if the weight necessary were still kind of high. so Wh/L determines the volume of the device necessary to fit the battery, and Wh/kg kind of determines how much mass (weight) is necessary to store the power required. I think consumer electronics (like cell phones) developers worry more about Wh/L and electric car developers worry more about Wh/kg.

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  5. This reminds me of the debate about silicon and gallium arsenide in the chip business. For decades, it was claimed that silicon was "running out of speed" and that a switch to GaAs was about to happen in a few years. I'm not saying that it will never happen, but at least it is clear that silicon has been able to "hold off" alternative technologies for decades through continuous improvements.

    My guess is that the ratio between lithium ion and solid state lithium will be a similar story, i.e. it will be decades before solid state will matter at all, if ever.

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  6. The 50 USD/kWh was Brians conjecture for 2024 price levels. Quantum scape expects to get 70 USD/kWh in 2028.

    This is dead from the start.

    Even if they execute flawlessly, they will have too little capacity to matter and the prices will be too high. At 2028, Tesla will be at one or two TWh per year and with costs below 50 USD/kWh. Note, 50 USD/kWh assumes that Tesla will not improve at all between 2022 and 2028.. If they keep improving like they have been so far, they will perhaps be at 30 USD/kWh in 2028.

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  7. How cost reduction of 17% will bring batteries cost $50 per kwh in 2024 would and then will allow them to make about $70/kwh from the batteries.
    You are buying everything these startups are telling you.

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