Ford Motor Company announced today that it is making an additional investment in Solid Power, an industry-leading producer of solid state batteries for EVs. The automaker previously invested in Solid Power back in 2019, but now Ford is making an additional equity investment to help accelerate the development of solid state vehicle battery technology, contributing to a $130 million Series B investment round in which the BMW Group becomes an equal equity owner with Ford.
“Solid state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that’s why we’re investing in it directly as well as accelerating Ford’s in-house R&D on next-generation battery technology,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer. “Leveraging the speed of a startup and the expertise of some of the most seasoned battery experts in the world at Ford, we’re exploring different ways to power tomorrow’s fun-to-drive all-electric vehicles, using proven development and manufacturing processes.”
Solid-state batteries don’t use the liquid electrolyte found in conventional lithium-ion batteries, can be lighter, offer greater energy density, and provide more range and lower cost.
Solid Power, which uses sulfide-based solid-state battery cells, has demonstrated its ability to produce and scale next-generation all solid state batteries that are designed to power longer range, lower cost, and safer electric vehicles using existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure.
Solid Power delivered hundreds of production line-produced battery cells that were validated by the BMW Group and Ford late last year, formalizing the company’s commercialization plans with its two long-standing automotive partners.
“By simplifying the design of solid state versus lithium-ion batteries, we’ll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, and ultimately deliver lower costs and better value for customers,” said Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of electrification subsystems and power supply research. “We look forward to delivering these improvements and working with Solid Power to seamlessly and quickly integrate their sulfide-based all-solid-state battery cells into existing lithium-ion cell production processes more efficiently than oxide-based solid-state battery cell makers can.”
Under the new agreement, Ford will receive full-scale 100-ampere hour (Ah) cells from Solid Power for testing and integration into its future vehicles starting next year. Solid Power already is producing 20 Ah solid-state batteries on a pilot manufacturing line using lithium-ion production processes and equipment.
Ford also has a separate joint development agreement with Solid Power to develop and test its specific battery cell design and help streamline Ford’s integration into future vehicles.
Earlier this week, Ford announced its new global battery center – Ford Ion Park – which is intended to accelerate the research and development of its battery and battery cell technology, including future battery manufacturing.
The Ford Ion Park team already is underway. In addition, a $185 million collaborative learning lab in Southeast Michigan that is dedicated to developing, testing, and building vehicle battery cells and cell arrays is scheduled to open late next year.