Fisker announced that they had a ‘breakthrough’ in batteries. The new technology could have given “500 miles of range and 1-minute charging” in its electric cars. However, this didn’t seem to go as planned as Fisker has dropped the idea of solid-state batteries.
Fisker has Dropped The Idea of Solid-State Batteries
Henrik Fisker relaunched his electric vehicle startup. He made all these big claims about the battery capabilities of the company’s new electric cars. One of the biggest claims was related to the battery that the brand was going to use.
At first, they said that their first car will have a new graphene-based hybrid supercapacitor technology. However, that turned out to be false. After that, they announced a solid-state battery ‘breakthrough’ that could give “500 miles range and 1-minute charging.”
This turned out to be not true. Henry Fisker announced that Fisker has dropped the idea of solid-state batteries about a year ago.
In an interview with The Verge, the CEO said,
“So we spent a lot of time, several years, doing research in solid-state batteries. And it’s kind of a technology where when you feel like you’re 90 percent there, you’re almost there, until you realize the last 10 percent is much more difficult than the first 90. But you don’t really know that until you get up to the 90 percent. So as we got toward the end of this — or let’s put it, as we got close to understanding fully this technology, we realized that it was much more difficult than we had predicted and expected in the beginning as we were very excited about some of the early things we were doing.
But we eventually came to the conclusion, I think it was probably end of 2019, beginning of ‘20, I forget exactly, that solid-state batteries are still very, very far out, they’re not around the corner. I think personally, they’re at least seven years out, if not more, in terms of any sort of high-volume format. Because you need to … once you have a breakthrough in that technology, you need probably three years to set up high-volume manufacturing, and then you need another three years to do durability testing. So even if somebody invented it today, it would be at least probably six years out.
So we have completely dropped solid-state batteries at this point in time because we just don’t see it materializing. Would we do something in the future? If we do, it would be something completely new, and we obviously have a battery team that’s looking at the current technology that’s here. But the solid-state battery that we worked on, that just doesn’t have a future at this point in time in the near future. And I don’t see us continuing with that particular development at all.”
To sum up, the company believes that the idea is nowhere ready for any commercial use.
The VP of battery systems at Fisker, Fabio Albano also commented, “This breakthrough marks the beginning of a new era in solid-state materials and manufacturing technologies. We are addressing all of the hurdles that solid-state batteries have encountered on the path to commercialization, such as performance in cold temperatures; the use of low-cost and scalable manufacturing methods; and the ability to form bulk solid-state electrodes with significant thickness and high active material loadings. We are excited to build on this foundation and move the needle in energy storage.”
It’s Not That Simple
You see this is not that simple, just after the company announced their ‘Breakthrough’, it was sued by QuantumScape, which is a Volkswagen-backed solid-state battery startup. They alleged Fisker for theft of trade secrets. Fisker later settled the lawsuit for USD 750,000. Later in 2019, Albano also filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Fisker. He claimed that he was fired by the company for the wrong reasons.
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