A leading battery technology solution provider, QuantumScape Corporation aims to transform energy storage and promote a future with reduced to zero carbon footprint with the help of transportation. Companies rely heavily on lithium-ion batteries to revolutionize transportation, but lithium-ion batteries come with various limitations, such as short battery life, slow charging speed, and costliness. To combat these limitations in a way that enables fast charging, long battery life, and safety at a reasonable rate while also allowing zero-emission transportation, QuantumScape has come up with new technological advancements.
Founded in 2010, QuantumScape’s vision entails enhancing transportation to counter the rising environmental problems. Its technology is made of a solid ceramic electrolyte separator. This material prevents the anode and cathode from colliding and shifting lithium ions from corner to corner and side to side of a battery during charging and discharging. During the initial charge, the technology generates a lithium anode that makes it easy to navigate the battery design and reduces the production and manufacturing costs. Since the technology uses a solid ceramic electrolyte separator, it is non-flammable, does not combust, and uses lithium metal, which is exceptionally light, making QuantumScape’s batteries safer and more convenient than standard lithium-ion batteries.
QuantumScape electrifies transportation and replaces the old and conventional method of internally bursting engines. With the help of its collaborators and a workforce that includes highly trained and experienced scientists and engineers, QuantumScape is striving to build a solid-state technology to transform transportation and make roads safer. One of the main contributors to environmental issues and the increase in pollution is the current transportation system, which lacks safety, is expensive, and gives an underwhelming performance.
QuantumScape’s mission is to improve energy storage using solid-state lithium-metal batteries that last longer, charge faster, and ensure the safety and security of electric vehicles. The company created the industry’s first cell design without an anode that produces high energy density at low material costs using less complex manufacturing and production processes. QuantumScape’s batteries are more reliable, convenient, and efficient than conventional lithium-ion batteries.
In San Jose, California, USA, QuantumScape has kept its promise of developing and promoting solid-state technology. As regular lithium-ion batteries’ shortcomings are slowly pulling users away from them, QuantumScape’s technology is a solution to lithium-ion batteries’ limitations that do not meet their high demand. QuantumScape is working to take transportation to a new era and dimension where energy storage’s anode-less design and solid ceramic electrolyte separator enhance speed, charging, and energy density.
The US-based company chose lithium-metal to develop its technology because lithium-metal possesses the ideal characteristics to create sustainable, safe, durable, and long-lasting batteries for electric vehicles. Currently, a lithium metal’s negative electrode, also known as an anode, has the highest gravimetric energy density. It charges the batteries at an excellent rate, as lithium gathers directly on the anode. Using the correct electrolyte allows the battery without an anode design to rely on pure lithium metal, saving time, money, and resources and enhancing energy density.
QuantumScape’s technology improves energy density, as it is created through combination with various cathode chemistries to majorly improve the energy density of the current Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)- and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP)-based battery cells. Pairing the technology with NMC and LFP battery cells makes room to optimize and enable various energy storage platforms. It offers flexibility that takes advantage of cathode chemistry methodologies in the future.
“We had to go through a lot of dead ends. But nature did provide a material that meets the requirements, and luckily, through our systematic search process, we were able to find it,” said Jagdeep Singh, Founder and CEO of QuantumScape Corporation.
There are five significant promises that QuantumScape has kept in regards to its lithium-metal batteries: energy, fast charging, life, safety, and cost. The lithium-metal batteries increase the volume and gravimetric energy density by removing the silicon or graphite host particles. They enhance the charging speed – 10% to 80% in less than fifteen minutes – by eliminating the lithium diffusion bottleneck in the anode host region. QuantumScape extends the duration by eliminating any reduction in the anode interface’s capacity and safely removes the organic separator by replacing it with a non-flammable solid-state separator. Ultimately, removing the anode host materials also reduces the manufacturing prices.
QuantumScape’s lithium-metal battery is made of NMC, a common component of current electric vehicle batteries. The lithium moves from the negative electrode to the cathode when the battery is completely discharged and back from the cathode to the negative electrode when it is charging.
QuantumScape’s solid-state lithium-metal batteries meet the required standards to enable secure, efficient, and environmentally safe transportation. Its battery technology is highly conductive, stable to lithium metal, resistant to dendrite creation, and has low interfacial impedance. The high conductivity, stability, dendrite-formation resistance, and low interfacial impedance make the lithium-metal anode release high energy density, charge quicker, and live a long life.
The battery solution provider tested a single-layer cell with more than 1,000 cycles of charging and discharging to check its endurance, durability, charging speed, time, and safety. The company’s battery technology generated approximately the same performance level as commercial batteries upon reaching the desired energy density. Thus, the lithium-metal batteries’ performance rivalled the performance of a vehicle that crosses over 300,000 miles on a 300-mile pack, with an energy density of 1,000 Wh/L.
The ceramic solid-electrolyte separator resisted dendrite formation, demonstrated stability, reduced lithium deposits to the side of the battery, and led to incredible Coulombic efficiency. (Coulombic efficiency is the ratio of a battery’s discharge capacity after it is completely charged to the charging rates of the same cycle, which is usually less than a fraction of a second.)
Solid-state lithium-metal batteries have various benefits that influence a vehicle’s performance. QuantumSpace believes that with the development of lithium-metal batteries, their demand will rise enormously within a short period. These batteries will co-exist with the ever-changing nature of the automobile industry and the market fluctuations. QuantumSpace works on the idea that the demand for lithium-metal batteries over traditional lithium-ion batteries will increase in markets promoting stationary storage and consumer electronics.