By the end of 2020, investors will be able to buy stocks from a new company that will be listed at the NYSE under the ticker symbol QS. That stands for QuantumScape, a solid-state battery startup that has been backed over the last ten years by Volkswagen and Bill Gates. It will get there following the same method Nikola and Fisker adopted: SPACs.
That is the acronym for Special-Purpose Acquisition Companies, shell companies that raise money to buy private-operating businesses. Through a reverse merger, they get these businesses on the stock market in a smoother way and without all the hype that surrounds IPOs.
The SPAC that will get QuantumScape at the NYSE is Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp (ticker KCAC). The operation will have an enterprise value of $3.3 billion.
After that happens, according to Automotive News, QuantumScape and Volkswagen will form a joint-venture to produce solid-state batteries starting in 2024. Not only for Volkswagen Group cars, such as Porsche, Audi, Bentley, and so forth but also for other automakers.
We have recently spoken about QuantumScape after Bill Gates said it would help us move with zero emissions. What the Automotive News report brings is more details on the technology the company has developed.
The lithium-metal cells QuantumScape has developed use a solid ceramic electrolyte that eliminates the anode. That makes the more than 400 Wh/kg batteries charge really quickly: 80 percent of charge in just 15 minutes. The best batteries currently available are at around 250 Wh/kg.
The more energy they deliver, the smaller (and lighter) the battery pack can be. Apart from that, solid-state batteries could also dispense cooling systems, which also account for the large size current battery packs have. J.B. Straubel, a Tesla co-founder that now runs Redwood Materials, said QuantumScape could “redefine the battery landscape” – which would be more than welcome.