Solid Power is in the center of the electric vehicle storm
The Louisville-based company is making all-state-solid, rechargeable batteries for vehicles
Solid Power | Louisville | Product: Energy & Environmental
“We’re working on all-solid-state, rechargeable batteries,” says co-founder and CEO Doug Campbell. Eliminating the liquid innards of a lithium-ion battery makes for a safer, cheaper and “more robust” product.
The big picture: As the batteries in an electric vehicle (EV) typically account for 30% to 40% of its price tag, big automotive manufacturers are on the hunt for ways to mitigate costs. Campbell says he thinks Solid Power’s technology could cut a battery’s cost by a third. No wonder Ford, BMW and other major carmakers are partnering with the company.
Now with more than 50 employees, Solid Power had what Campbell calls a “momentous” 2019. It cut the ribbon on its first production line in the third quarter, which, even at pilot scale, is one of the largest all-solid-state production lines anywhere.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, Solid Power employs legacy equipment to make its next-generation product. “Our mission from day one was to be as compatible as possible with traditional manufacturing,” Campbell says. “It looks kind of like a printing press.”
After two to three years of qualifying by automotive manufacturers, the company’s batteries could power their first vehicles by 2025. That dovetails into an ongoing, aggressive push into EVs by most major automotive manufacturers.
Campbell is quick to credit his team, and notes that he prides himself on retaining employees for the long haul. “Colorado’s just been a fantastic environment for quote-unquote incubating,” he says. As for EV and battery technology, the state is “right in the center of the storm.”