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Ford and BMW are launching $ 130 million worth of rechargeable batteries

Solid Power’s 22-layer lithium-metal cell with 22 layers, 20Ah, compared to the company’s 10-layer 2Ah cell of the first generation.

Solid power

DETROIT – Ford Motor is increasing its investment in the launch of Solid Power rechargeable batteries in hopes of integrating next-generation batteries into its electric vehicles by the end of this decade.

Ford, which initially invested in the company in 201

9, held a $ 130 million round of financing at Solid Power with BMW and venture capital firm Volta Energy Technologies, the companies announced Monday.

Solid Power makes so-called semiconductor batteries, which do not use the liquid electrolyte found in conventional lithium-ion batteries currently used to power most electric vehicles. Batteries can be lighter, with a higher energy density, which provides greater range at a lower cost. But at the moment they are more expensive than lithium-ion batteries and are in the early stages of development.

Under the new agreement, Ford and BMW will receive Solid Power car batteries for testing and integration into their future vehicles next year. The B-Series investment round will allow the company to expand its production capabilities and positions, Solid Power CEO Doug Campbell said in a statement.

Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product officer and chief operating officer, said the automaker believes the industry will begin to shift from lithium-ion batteries to solid state in the next decade. He declined to disclose Ford’s total investment in solid-state batteries, but said it was currently “significantly smaller” than lithium-ion.

“We think it’s realistic that by the end of this decade, there’s a good chance this will be something we can get into production with,” he told CNBC in an interview.

BMW said it also expects to have semiconductor batteries in production electric vehicles by the end of the decade. A demonstration car with the technology is expected before 2025, according to a company spokesman.

The investment announcement comes less than a week after Ford said it would invest $ 185 million in a new battery lab as a step towards producing its own battery cells for electric vehicles. This is in addition to plans to invest $ 22 billion in car electrification from 2016 to 2025.

Ford’s new facility will not be the full-battery facility that Tesla has. General Motors recently announced a $ 4.6 billion investment in two U.S. battery cells with the LG Energy Solution.

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