The lure is that QuantumScape's solid-state batteries may provide a single-charge range of as long as 430 miles. That's more than three times the current range of the VW e-Golf electric vehicle the company recently started selling to the public and is substantially longer than the single-charge range of the Tesla Model S electric sedan. The batteries are also fireproof, making VW's potential decision one with an eye towards more vehicle safety.
Solid-state battery technology, in which solid lithium electrodes are used instead of liquid electrodes such as those in lithium-ion batteries, are the subject of research at other automakers and suppliers as well. Toyota says they could be here by 2020. Recently, the cordless vacuum cleaner maker Dyson acquired a $15-million equity stake in Michigan-based battery maker Sakti3 with the idea of using the startup's solid-state batteries in its products. General Motors also has a minority stake in Sakti3, which was spun off from the University of Michigan.