In the quest to find alternatives to oil-based fuel for vehicles, Volkswagen’s acquisition this week of a 5 percent stake in a battery maker from California is pretty newsworthy.
“Get out!” you exclaim. “Your idea for a blog post is super-dry news about VW buying into a battery maker?!”
Calm yourself. It might not sound like a big deal now, but it really is. We know that you’ve been secretly dying to know about how Volkswagen is going to expand the range of its electric vehicles. It’s the holidays now, so consider this your early gift.
QuantumScape is a small firm based in San Jose, California with an even smaller website. All two of its web pages offer idyllic photos of trees standing still and children engrossed with plant life. What makes them interesting is their research in solid state batteries.
Right now, all electric vehicles use liquid lithium-ion batteries. With that liquid sloshing around in there, QuantumScape was not pleased one bit. They said, “Why not make everything solid and unsloshable? It will be safer that way in case of a collision.”
Because they are scientists, they were right. Solid state batteries are, in fact, safer in the event of a collision. These particular scientists are former professors at Stanford—that place where Google was started—so they have credibility in their research.
Solid state batteries are supposed to produce three times the range of current electric vehicles. The technology isn’t exactly finished at this point, but the hunger for more powerful EV batteries is strong. With Tesla breaking ground on the world’s largest factory of EV batteries in Nevada, that hunger is likely to intensify.
Now that you know what Volkswagen is getting you for Christmas two or three years from now, stop by Leith Volkswagen of Raleigh to get what you want this year!