BMW announces that it is going to make solid-state batteries by taking some intellectual property rights. With this, the automaker will be able to begin production of the battery cells at its facility in Germany.
Colorado-based Solid Power will license the cell design and manufacturing processes to BMW, which will pay the company $20 million through June 2024, subject to certain conditions. As part of the agreement, Solid Power will retain the intellectual property rights related to its electrolyte material, which it will supply to BMW once the carmaker’s battery production lines are up and running. BMW, an investor in Solid Power, already has an agreement to receive finished battery cells.
Solid Power, which went public in December last year, is among a group of companies trying to create next-generation batteries for electric vehicles, aiming to solve some issues related to lithium-ion batteries that are currently in use. Solid-state batteries use a solid electrolyte, compared with a liquid one in lithium-ion batteries, and have a lower risk of catching fire. Ford and Hyundai have invested in Solid Power, in addition to a partnership with SK Innovation announced in October of 2021. This past June, Solid Power announced a solid-state battery pilot production line ahead of a timeline to deliver the cells to both Ford and BMW before year’s end.
Solid Power announced that BMW Group in particular won’t just be receiving solid-state prototypes for EV testing, but will be granted access to its battery know-how to help develop the technology concurrently. By gaining a license to Solid Power’s research and development, cell design, and manufacturing practices, BMW Group intends to duplicate Solid Power’s pilot production line at its own facility in Germany in order to produce prototype battery cells of its own.
As a result of the expanded development agreement, both Solid Power and BMW Group intend to perform complementary cell development and manufacturing activities at their respective facilities to expedite the capability of the solid-state battery technology. Solid Power COO Dr. Derek Johnson spoke, “We could not be more excited about growing our relationship with BMW, a company that has demonstrated a strong commitment to Solid Power’s technology for the past seven years. We believe this expanded partnership and increased collaboration is an added vote of confidence in Solid Power’s technology development.”In exchange for access to Solid Power’s proprietary solid-state technology and manufacturing know-how, BMW Group has agreed to pay $20 million through June 2024 (subject to achieving certain milestones that have not been shared yet).