Caterpillar Invests In Fisker’s Solid-State Battery Tech

Fisker

OCT 22 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 38

Caterpillar Ventures has officially joined hands with Fisker Inc. for future projects.

Fisker Inc. has been touting its continued pursuits and advancements related to future solid-state battery developments and applications. Even aside from solid-state breakthroughs, the automaker is reportedly pushing the envelope on battery capacity in general. Now, the global leader in manufacturing of construction equipment — Caterpillar — has decided to jump on board with plans for the future.

Currently, Caterpillar deals with construction and mining equipment that are primarily diesel-powered, although it does have its hands in diesel-electric locomotives. With Fisker’s future insight and goals, the construction company could be able to apply solid-state battery tech in multiple areas, including construction, energy storage, transportation, and mining.

Eventually, the growing consensus is that solid-state batteries could be the next big thing. With numerous and varied battery breakthroughs being announced on a regular basis, it’s hard to say exactly what may happen regarding the technology. However, of all the upcoming possibilities, solid-state seems to continue its reign as the clear the front-runner, at least in the hypothetical. Still, as far as reports and progress go, it may still be a long time before the battery tech is in regular production.

The fact that a globally recognized and hugely successful company like Caterpillar is already getting on board is even more convincing. Cross your fingers, folks. No matter how this deal plays out or how battery-electric vehicles are faring in the interim, the best is surely yet to come.

To be clear, the announced investment comes by way of Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc., which is an obvious subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. and in financial support of future developments.

Source: PR Newswire

Categories: Fisker / Karma

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38 Comments on "Caterpillar Invests In Fisker’s Solid-State Battery Tech"

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amt

Big Mistake, Caterpillar Will Have Regrets .

Al D

Any company that invests in solid-state development is OK by me. The more companies and universities working on solid-state, the better. Not only should transportation and construction machinery manufacturers be investing in solid state, they should also be investing in HFC technology, which will also be powering their vehicles and other equipment.

Brandon

Yup, 800 volt fast charging and solid state batteries is construction equipment… Bring it on!!!

Brandon

Edit: IN construction equipment

Dante

SS batteries remind me of fusion power for some reason.

terminaltrip421

and room-temp superconductors. perhaps the scientific holy grail trifecta.

Sammy

Why? Care to explain?

Pushmi-Pullyu

“…the announced investment comes by way of Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc…”

This reminds me very much of claims from EEStor supporters, who touted an investment by a venture capital firm (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) as “proof” that EEStor had something worth investing in. That appears similar to the argument in this article: “The fact that a globally recognized and hugely successful company like Caterpillar is already getting on board is even more convincing.”

The problem with both arguments is that the investment firm likely sees the investment as a long shot, and may well not be an indication of much confidence in the investment. Even for successful venture capital firms, the success rate is only about 25%. (Obviously the minority which do succeed earn far more for the investment firm than they lose on the average failure, or venture capital investment firms couldn’t stay in business.)

ffbj

True. Its called “venture capital” for good reasons.

G2

Should be “Danger Capital”

terminaltrip421

yep. that definitely took the wind out of my sails a bit.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

In poker terms, it’s playing the pot odds.
Betting doesn’t imply you think you’ll win.

Vexar

I’m glad to see Caterpillar following John Deere in investing into electric heavy equipment. I hope someone builds electric boom loaders soon, too.

Al D

Let’s not forget about HFC technology, which is better suited for large transportation vehicles and other types of machinery.

SJC

Oh yeah, we would not want to forget. /s

antrik

Sure, it’s better suited, since a way too expensive technology at a larger scale clearly gains an advantage…

Pushmi-Pullyu

Sure, excessively expensive and absurdly impractical hydrogen fuel will work much better for large vehicles, because they need lots more fuel than smaller ones.

Oh, wait…

carcus

The recovery of Kinetic/potential ‘lost’ energy might be a bigger deal for Caterpillar (trains, construction, mining) vs. typical automotive,…. so the solid state advancement and it’s ability to charge/discharge rapidly (recover ‘lost’ energy) — also a bigger deal.

/the lion’s share of automotive “lost” energy can be bled off through aero drag (i.e. coasting)

SJC

Solid state may be safer but not charge/discharge more quickly.

antrik

What makes you think solid state enables faster charge/discharge? The few semi-commercial cells available thus far are in fact very slow charging. AIUI it’s one of the major challenges of solid state electrolytes.

Carcus

“Early results show that Fisker’s solid-state technology enables the construction of bulk three-dimensional solid-state electrodes with 25 times more surface area than flat thin-film solid-state electrodes and extremely high electronic and ionic conductivities—enabling fast charging and cold temperature operation.”
https://www.greencarcongress.com/2017/11/20171113-fisker.html

Rolando

Solid State (SS) is more heat resistant, less degrading and has more specific capacity than NMC, but the main problem is just the opposite from your hope: slower charging as a solid electrolyte is blocking the transfer of Li-Ions from Cathode to Anode and v.v. – which is no problem with liquid electrolyte.

Carcus

See GCC article referenced above.

Al D

I want enough money pouring into all of the leading solid-state developers to keep them going until one or more of them come up with a major breakthrough. I hope Fisker manages to somehow come up with a solid-state battery design that can be mass produced at a reasonable cost. If not Fisker, one of the companies and universities will eventually be announcing a breakthrough. The current Li-ion batteries will never be good enough for me.

antrik

You probably don’t even know what that term means — but you know for a fact that that’s what you need, and nothing else will do…

G2

I hear you Al D; BTW how is your Betamax holding up?

SJC

Fisker has no credibility in batteries.

amt

No Credibility in Batteries ? Or No Credibility Period ?

floydboy

Yep, likely to see the ‘Y’, the Semi and the new Roadster rolling around before this guy produces even a few cars.

Eveplayer77

Guess cat is stupider than I thought.

amt

Either Caterpillar Did N0T Research Fisker Or Someone At Caterpillar Got Well Greased By Fisker To Sign/Make The Deal Because, Fisker Has “0” 0r Less Than “0” Battery Expretise.

Doggydogworld

Maybe they’re finally giving up on their Firefly spinoff after 18 years:
http://fireflyenergy.com/about-us/history-of-innovation/

antrik

That was just about more reliable starter batteries as far as I can tell?…

Doggydogworld

It devolved over time. Originally their “lead foam” batteries was to offer NiMH energy density and cycle life at a lead-acid price. This was back when lithium was WAY too expensive to even consider for EVs.

floydboy

Shouldn’t he be running his ‘Breakthrough Solid State’ (BSS) by the battery manufacturers, like Samsung or Panasonic? If it’s as good as he claims, they would pay him a mint for the technology.

Tom

The article implies Cat is not heavy into diesel. Ummm…..the exact opposite is true. Cat’s diesels are renown and have been diesel since the early days pioneering the use of diesel. Virtually ALL of their construction equipment has diesel engines. I don’t think they even build gas powered construction equipment. Bulldozers, payloaders, telehandlers, scrapers, etc etc. All diesel. And in addition to that many other manufacturers have used their diesels. Semi’s, farm tractors and combines, etc. New Holland combines for instance had Cat engines…not sure if they still do. Cat in fact has their own line of farm tractors called ‘challenger’. It’s a tracked tractor (has tracks instead of wheels) and its big sell is that the tracks distribute the load better than wheels and therefore pack the ground less. Additionally Cat has diesel powered peaker plants for power generation as well as a whole array of smaller diesel generators. And they have marine diesels. And so on. In short they not only use diesel nearly exclusively, many other implementations use their diesel engines.

SJC

Fisker has NO solid state battery tech.

EVer

So far all solid state batteries have been bricks and this guy Fisker has failed to deliver on promises…Good luck Caterpillar…heavy duty electric construction equipment make a lot of sense.