QuantumScape was attacked by Scorpion Capital with a report that said that the company was a “pump-and-dump SPAC scam.” Jagdeep Singh’s first interview after that would be one worth watching, and it was Sandy Munro who did it. If that is not enough for you to spend a little more than one hour with this video, do that for all the content it offers.
The QuantumScape CEO did more than just address what he believes that the Scorpion Capital report was. He also clarified why he believes his company will soon succeed in the race for solid-state batteries. According to what he said to Munro, that’s because it already has.
The only fair criticism Singh accepts is the fact that they have still not reached mass production for these cells. However, that does not mean the company doesn’t know how or when. The CEO said that what Elon Musk wanted to say about prototypes and mass production was only suitable for the automotive world. When it comes to batteries, the most challenging part would be getting the chemistry right, which recent tests would prove that QuantumScape achieved.
Despite that, making the new solid-state cells is either something the CEO and his team already figured out – but are not telling anyone – or a task yet to complete. We are more inclined towards the first option, mainly because Singh already said he expects the company to deliver its first production cells by 2024 or 2025. Establishing a deadline you can't meet creates credibility issues Singh is not willing to face.
According to the CEO, the ceramic material his team has managed to discover is scalable, and it is the only material he is aware of that prevents dendrite formation without high temperatures or pressure. He also said the cathode has a liquid electrolyte and that this was not a secret.
In his chat with Munro, Singh commented on what Solid Power is doing. He said that he does not believe sulfides will work because QuantumScape has investigated them. In his opinion, sulfides have two major problems. The first is that they would not prevent dendrite formation. The second is that sulfides react with the air and form hydrogen sulfide, a highly poisonous gas.
Munro then asked him about the BlueSolutions solid-state battery, made with LMP (lithium metal polymer). For the QuantumScape CEO, the lack of convenience of having to heat the battery pack is just one of its issues. For a passenger car, it would also have added cost, lower energy density, and the need to charge the battery pack constantly. This would be why it is restricted to buses and other similar fleet vehicles.
Concerning the Scorpion Capital report and other negative articles, such as one from Seeking Alpha, Singh said the best answer he can give is delivering what his company promises. When that happens, anyone betting against QuantumScape would suffer a short squeeze that would be more representative than a lawsuit.
He also mentioned that Volkswagen is a QuantumScape partner for more than eight years. After testing the solid-state battery, the German carmaker put even more money into its development. Just remember what GM did with Nikola after the Hindenburg Research report and the diametrically opposed reactions will give Singh a strong point.
The Seeking Alpha article said QuantumScape data meant a car with its solid-state cells would have a short life. Singh implied the person who wrote the article did not understand what the company disclosed.
According to the CEO, QuantumScape cells have already shown they retain more than 80 percent of their capacity after 1,000 cycles. When they were submitted to what he calls a track cycle, they retained about 90 percent of capacity after 100 cycles. Far from giving Seeking Alpha a point, that would prove how trustworthy QuantumScape cells would be.
Singh explained that the track cycle is an aggressive situation with hard acceleration and braking until the battery pack is depleted. The battery is then charged in only 15 minutes and repeats the same process. When the 2170 cells Panasonic produced for Tesla were put to the same test, they lost 80 percent of their capacity after 20 cycles. In other words, QuantumScape solid-state batteries would be five times better than the current market benchmark.
We only discovered all that after watching the whole thing. Seize the fact that we are close to a weekend, and make sure you do the same. There’s plenty more to learn there.