It’s to surprise that technology is forever changing, adapting, and advancing.
QuantumScape. Ever heard of it? It’s a battery startup that despite not yet reporting any revenue, is still projected to have a $44 billion market value. The company, backed by both Volkswagen and Bill Gates, now has a market value greater than Ford.
Solid-state batteries have long been seen as a way of breaking through performance limitations associated with today’s electric vehicles. The promise of solid-state is to get rid of the liquid, and with it the fire risk. Moreover, “lithium-metal” cells being developed by QuantumScape, among others, combine the lithium component with the anode, further reducing bulk and potentially delivering more power at a lower cost.
Another advantage of solid-state batteries includes rapid charge and longer life expectancy. But is it really better? Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk says solid-state isn’t among the many developments discussed in the company’s September “battery day.” Tesla’s skepticism may also be related to its own battery technology, which would likely make it harder than for others to adapt to solid-state electrolytes. Tesla uses cylindrical batteries formed from rolled cells, whereas its competitors typically favor so-called prismatic batteries, in which cells can be stacked. Because solid-state cells are more brittle than liquid ones, they will be much easier to stack than to roll.
For Tesla, the story remains different. But who’s to say QuantumScape isn’t or can’t be the new way?
While the current trajectory of our planet may seem unclear, there continues to be innovation. The population is increasing, and with that, so is everything else. But there are clear and evident efforts that are already being done to help combat the usual harms that come with rising populations. Hope is the one denominator that continues to be the same across the board, and I think that counts for something remarkable.