Breakthrough in solid-state batteries with help of Bill Gates

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Battery startup QuantumScape claims that the company has seen a breakthrough in the development of solid-state batteries. The batteries are said to perform significantly better than comparable lithium-ion batteries.

Compared to a lithium-ion battery of the same size, QuantumScape’s lithium-metal battery had more capacity, could charge faster and performed better at low temperatures, Fortune writes. There would also be less degradation when recharging, which is a significant problem with current batteries.

Electric cars

The technology should ultimately lead to cheaper batteries for electric cars, which also last longer than the batteries currently in use. Bill Gates was an early investor in the company and is also said to have contributed to the project. The CEO of QuantumScape said he was surprised at how quickly the former Microsoft CEO had become an expert in the chemistry of batteries

However, the technology has yet to prove itself on a larger scale. QuansumScape’s tested battery is of a size more fitting for a smartphone than for a car. Moreover, the company still has to prove whether the batteries can actually be produced in on a large scale.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen is investing heavily in the start-up. The company invests 300 million dollars (248 million euros) in it and has taken an ownership stake. Volkswagen hopes to incorporate the technology in its cars in 2025.

Meanwhile, competitor Tesla is still betting on lithium-ion batteries. At the Battery Day event in September, the company showed a new design that should significantly reduce the cost of batteries and increase the range of the cars.