QuantumScape (QS 0.47%) stock rose recently on the rumors of a potential partnership with Porsche. Even before the news, the stock has been on an upward trend since the middle of March. Let's check out what the solid-state battery company has been up to lately and what its progress means for its stock.
High customer interest
QuantumScape, so far, has collaborations with four key customers -- three automotive and one stationary energy-storage product manufacturer. Apart from Volkswagen (VWAGY -1.00%), QuantumScape is collaborating with two other auto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). One of these is a top 10 global auto manufacturer by revenue, and the other is a luxury auto company. QuantumScape hasn't disclosed the names of these two auto companies. The luxury auto company could possibly be Porsche. After testing and validating QuantumScape's cells, these companies intend to use them in their vehicles.
QuantumScape has also collaborated with Fluence Energy (FLNC -0.04%) to supply batteries for use in the latter's storage products.
The solid-state batteries that QuantumScape is researching could change the EV landscape considerably. The company believes that its solid-state batteries will be far more energy-dense than the lithium-ion batteries in use right now. The batteries may increase an electric vehicle's range notably for the same battery size.
As the chart above shows, QuantumScape expects its solid-state cells to be far more energy-dense than the conventional lithium-ion cells with silicon or carbon anode. QuantumScape's cells use a solid-state separator in place of the porous separators used in conventional lithium-ion batteries. The company has worked for more than 10 years to develop this separator material. Moreover, QuantumScape's cells do not have an anode at the time of manufacturing; a lithium-metal anode is formed when the cells are charged. This helps increase the volumetric density of the cell.
Progress on track
QuantumScape completed its 2021 milestones as planned. It successfully tested 10-layer cells in 2021.
The company now needs to develop multilayered cells with commercial dimensions while adding several more layers. The final cells used in vehicles may need several dozen layers in each battery pack. Additionally, the company needs to minimize volume manufacturing costs.
QuantumScape expects to produce cells for use in test cars in 2023 and start commercial production in 2024. If things go as per QuantumScape's plans, the company will have a huge market for its cells. In all, QuantumScape could already be delivering its batteries to auto OEMs successfully three years from now.