Volkswagen has invested in stealth battery startup QuantumScape, according to a Bloomberg report, which said VW plans to invest in battery technology as a way to boost the range of electric cars and compete with companies like Tesla Motors. Volkswagen is investigating using QuantumScape’s battery for its cars and VW America bought a 5 percent share, according to the report.
QuantumScape is an early-stage battery startup that has been working on commercializing technology from Stanford University. It was was founded and is being led by Infinera co-founder and CEO Jagdeep Singh, and is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Khosla Ventures.
Licensing technology from Stanford, the company has been looking to create batteries that are energy dense as well as safer than standard lithium ion batteries. The company’s technology uses a new method for stacking trace amounts of materials together, which can lead to high energy and power densities, and also higher cycle life than traditional lithium ion batteries.
Several years ago the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program gave Stanford a grant for an “All Electron Battery” project which the ARPA-E described as “a completely new class of electrical energy storage devices for electric vehicles that has the potential to provide ultra-high energy and power densities, while enabling extremely high cycle life.” The tech is supposed to be able to deliver a “quantum leap forward in energy storage,” says the ARPA-E site. That tech is being commercialized by QuantumScape.