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Recent tests reveal Volkswagen’s new EV battery technology could shake up the industry: ‘These are very encouraging results’

“The final result of this development could be a battery cell that enables long ranges, can be charged super quickly, and practically does not age.”

"The final result of this development could be a battery cell that enables long ranges, can be charged super quickly, and practically does not age."

Photo Credit: iStock

As part of an effort to make electric vehicles more efficient and less expensive, Volkswagen has developed a new EV battery prototype that could charge faster and last longer than industry standards, as Bloomberg reported.

The German car manufacturer recently shared encouraging early test results for its solid-state battery cell developed with American partner QuantumScape Corp. Solid-state batteries replace the flammable liquid found in most batteries today with a solid material, making them safer and smaller while allowing vehicles to drive farther on a single charge.

Solid-state batteries also charge faster than what EV aficionados are used to — minutes instead of hours.

Volkswagen’s prototype battery retained 95% of its storage capacity after over 1,000 charging cycles, per the press release. That’s equivalent to driving an EV about 311,000 miles. Industry standards aim for only 80% capacity retention at 700 cycles, Bloomberg noted.

The test results accelerate innovation to make EVs cheaper to own over time — and that benefits everyone wanting to save at the pump by going electric. Wider adoption of EVs may also reduce carbon pollution associated with traditional combustion engine vehicles.

While scaling up new EV battery technology has proven difficult industry-wide, other vehicle manufacturers are throwing their hats into the ring. Chinese EV maker BYD Co. is hard at work on a sodium-ion battery facility, while Japanese manufacturer Toyota has partnered with oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co. to commercialize solid-state batteries by the late 2020s, as the carmaker has announced.

“These are very encouraging results,” said Frank Blome, head of Volkswagen’s battery unit PowerCo, in a press release. “The final result of this development could be a battery cell that enables long ranges, can be charged super quickly, and practically does not age.”

While the technology sounds promising, it’s still in early testing stages. “As quickly as possible” is the timeline for commercial production as QuantumScape CEO Jagdeep Singh shared in the press release.

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