Though it’s a relative late-comer to the electric vehicle game, Volkswagen has ambitious plans to get in on the action. Volkswagen executives have mentioned their intentions to source a better EV battery, and according to Bloomberg the German automaker has acquired a 5% stake in QuantumScape.
Among the promising technology Volkswagen is looking into are solid-state batteries, though just what QuantumScape has to offer remains a mystery. Solid-state batteries replace the liquid electrolyte with solid matter, which makes these types of batteries a lot less likely to catch on fire. They’re also more energy dense, with the potential to pack three times more range than today’s comparatively-sized battery packs. Unfortunately little else is known about QuantumScape, other than some former Stanford professors began the project back in 2010 and it may or may not have something to do with the “All-Electron Battery” project.
Alas, these and other battery advances aren’t quite ready for prime time, which is why the Volkswagen e-Golf packs about the same range as competitors like the Nissan LEAF and BMW i3. At the same time though, Volkswagen’s luxury branch Audi is going whole-hog into the plug-in car game, including a Tesla-rivaling all-electric sedan set for a Detroit Auto Show debut. You can bet that Volkswagen itself won’t be far behind with a more affordable version of its own down the line, though solid-state batteries are just one potential path VW may take to EV domination.
Could Volkswagen usurp Nissan, BMW, and even Tesla when it comes to plug-in cars? It looks like VW is going to make a go at it at the very least.