Solid Power in the US has signed a key deal with leading battery maker SK Innovation in Korea to ramp up production of its sulfide-based solid state batteries for electric vehicles
Solid Power is in the process of merging with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation III by the end of this year to raise funds form the stock market, and SK will invest $30m as part of that deal. Other investors in Solid Power include BMW and Ford, bringing a volume manufacture into the deal.
The memorandum of understanding and joint development agreement (JDA) will enable SK Innovation to produce automotive-scale all-solid-state battery cells using Solid Power’s sulfide-based solid electrolyte, proprietary cell designs and production processes.
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The partnership is intended to facilitate the validation of Solid Power’s all-solid-state cell development and production techniques as part of the industry-standard automotive qualification process (APQP). This marks a key milestone on Solid Power’s strategic roadmap to achieve commercial production of all-solid-state battery cells for electric vehicle integration and use.
“The partnership with SK Innovation is designed to validate that Solid Power’s all-solid-state production processes are scalable and compatible with existing lithium-ion production technology,” said Doug Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Solid Power. “The ability to collaborate with a global leader in lithium-ion cell production is key to our go-to-market strategy and meeting anticipated demand.”
Through the JDA, SK Innovation and Solid Power plan to cooperate on all-solid-state cell development, validation and production to enable Solid Power to deliver pre-commercial all-solid-state cells to the Company’s automotive customers for qualification testing. Solid Power’s Silicon EV Cell is expected to be safer, provide longer range, and cost less than today’s leading lithium-ion batteries.
“We are delighted to partner with Solid Power, an industry-leading sulfide-based all-solid-state technology company,” said Dr. Lee Seongjun, CTO of SK Innovation. “We expect our partnership with Solid Power will play a pivotal role in delivering higher energy, lower-cost batteries to power longer range electric vehicles.”
Through this partnership, Solid Power intends to license its proprietary technology, manufacturing know-how and practices to SK Innovation to enable full integration of the sulfide-based solid electrolyte material and cell designs into SK Innovation’s existing cell production environment. The technology license and future commercial supply are subject to the parties successfully negotiating and entering into further commercial agreements, along with regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.
“The JDA and MoU provide the framework for us to jointly develop and industrialize our high-content silicon all-solid-state battery cells as part of Solid Power’s current technology development roadmap,” said Derek Johnson, Chief Operating Officer at Solid Power. “To successfully develop and launch our cell products, we follow the standard automotive APQP process, which will ensure our cell design meets automotive partner specifications, meets the highest quality standards and is manufacturable at high rates with high yields. The ability to quickly transfer production know-how and cell designs to a partner with lithium-ion production at GWh scale saves on capital expenses, in line with Solid Power’s capital light business model.”
Solid Power plans to supply SK Innovation with its proprietary electrolyte for use in the manufacturing of all-solid-state cells. Under terms of the JDA, Solid Power expects to generate a small amount of revenue from both research and development and from the sale of electrolyte samples beginning in 2022.
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