Investing in a company already is proof of trust: nobody puts their money on something they don’t think will pay off. Another evidence of that is putting someone you trust on the board of directors of that company. That’s respectively what Ford and BMW did with Ted Miller and Rainer Feurer, Solid Power’s new board of director members.
Miller is Ford’s manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research. That means he has “global responsibility for Ford battery technology research and development.” He has already worked with lithium-ion batteries at SAFT America.
Feurer is BMW’s SVP of Corporate Investments. He is also a member of BMW’s board of directors in several of BMW’s joint ventures: BMW Brilliance Automotive, Spotlight, HERE Technologies, and YOUR NOW.
Another way to look at these nominations would be that Ford and BMW want to make sure the Series B investment round they led in Solid Power will be well spent with research and development of the solid-state battery that may give them an edge on the EV market. Whatever the reason is, Feurer seems pretty confident that the 100 Ah battery Solid Power promised for 2022 will be a game-changer.
More than just making a solid-state cell that is robust enough for automotive use, Solid Power also wants it to be cheap to manufacture. This has been one of the major challenges to put these batteries on the market so far, which means that developing the right solid electrolyte is just part of the solution.
Solid Power said that its method would allow battery production with the same machinery that makes regular lithium-ion cells nowadays. If that is really the case, current battery suppliers will not have to buy new machines to make these cells, something that will also reduce their prices when they are ready for showtime.