In recent months we have covered announcements from several carmakers regarding intentions to become fully electric brands by the end of the next decade. In the case of Ford, it plans to be fully electric in Europe by 2030, and that objective has taken another significant step towards fruition.
This as the company has announced an additional equity investment in Solid Power, which specialises in creating solid-state batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).
The additional investment follows an initial one made back in 2019, with the company now explaining that it has contributed to a $130 million Series B investment round in which the BMW Group becomes an equal equity owner with Ford.
“Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that’s why we’re investing in it directly as well as accelerating Ford’s in-house R&D on next-generation battery technology,” noted Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer of the announcement.
“Leveraging the speed of a startup and the expertise of some of the most seasoned battery experts in the world at Ford, we’re exploring different ways to power tomorrow’s fun-to-drive all-electric vehicles, using proven development and manufacturing processes,” he added.
This therefore gives Ford a distinct advantage in terms of the potential capabilities of its future EVs. This as solid-state batteries are said to deliver greater range and faster charging, which are two elements that Tesla has been leading the market in for some time now. It looks Ford and BMW will be able to close that gap moving forward now.
We could even see electric cars with the new batteries some time next year, although Ford did not give a precise timeline on when Solid Power’s latest offerings will be found in road-ready vehicles.
That said, the carmaker’s press statement on the matter notes that, “Under the new agreement, Ford will receive full-scale 100 ampere hour (Ah) cells from Solid Power for testing and integration into its future vehicles starting next year. Solid Power already is producing 20 Ah solid-state batteries on a pilot manufacturing line using lithium-ion production processes and equipment.”
Either way Ford looks better positioned than BMW to get Solid Power’s batteries in its cars, with the German company expected to have its EVs ready by 2025.