The EV Revolution is in full-swing right now.
After more than tripling in 2021, global electric vehicle sales rose over 60% in the first six months of 2022. Impressively, that red-hot growth came even while the global economy slowed dramatically and overall auto sales were actually down almost 10%!
Folks, things couldn’t be clearer. The EV Revolution has arrived.
But here’s the thing: The EV Revolution won’t go mainstream until we make better batteries.
The simple reality is that while batteries make things work, today’s batteries are actually keeping EVs from working as well as they could.
Sure, it seems counterintuitive. But it is also absolutely true. To understand why, we need to take a quick trip back to chemistry class.
Battery Chemistry 101
Batteries comprise three things — a cathode, an anode, and an electrolyte. Batteries work by promoting the flow of ions between the cathode and anode through the electrolyte.
Conventional lithium-ion batteries — which are currently the dominant status quo — are built on liquid battery chemistry. That is, they comprise a solid cathode and anode, with a liquid electrolyte solution connecting the two.
These batteries have worked wonders for years. But due to the physical constraints of dealing with a liquid electrolyte, they are now reaching their limit in terms of energy cell density.
You can only compress a liquid so much. So, these batteries can only get so small and can only pack in so much charge.
We are now reaching those limits. And that means that conventional lithium-ion batteries will never be able to charge your phone in minutes. They won’t make your laptop last for days or power your electric car for thousands of miles on one charge.
Insert the solid-state battery.
Emergence of the Forever Battery
You take the liquid electrolyte solution in conventional batteries and compress it into a solid. That creates a hyper-compact solid battery. And since it has zero wasted space and theoretically infinite energy density, it lasts far longer and charges far faster.
Of course, the implications of solid-state battery chemistry are huge.
Solid-state batteries could be the key to making our phones sustain power for days or charging our smartwatches in seconds. They could allow electric cars to drive for thousands of miles without needing to recharge.
But making solid-state batteries is no small task. Perhaps unsurprisingly, fundamentally changing the world’s battery science is a complex, costly process.
Specifically, adoption of solid-state batteries has been essentially non-existent, despite their theoretical superiority, for two major reasons:
- They are exceptionally expensive to make. That’s because of high anode costs, a lack of manufacturing scale, and lack of understanding as to what solid electrolyte solutions work best for the battery.
- They tend to short-circuit because of something called “dendrites.” These are basically small cracks that form in the solid electrolyte substance over time, rendering the battery useless.
No one has yet realized how to side-step these obstacles and affordably (or sustainably) make effective solid-state batteries en masse…
QuantumScape’s Industry-Leading Tech
A team of genius Stanford professors and scientists decided they wanted to tackle this problem. In 2010, alongside a few tech execs and with backing from some of the most prestigious venture capital firms in the world, they started a company called QuantumScape (QS).
Twelve years later, that company has solved the solid-state battery problem.
Specifically, QuantumScape has figured out how to reduce solid-state battery costs and eliminate the dendrite problem.
What’s more, it has employed an anode-less battery cell design. That eliminates anode manufacturing costs and brings QuantumScape’s all-in battery expenses to 17% lower than that of traditional lithium-ion batteries.
This is more than just “talk.” QuantumScape is backing it up with real-world data.
In December 2020, the company released performance data for its forever battery technology. And it broadly underscored that these batteries are a complete game-changer.
The data, based on testing of single layer battery cells, shows that QuantumScape’s batteries:
- Charge very quickly — you can recharge them up to 80% capacity in just 15 minutes.
- Last forever – they’re capable of lasting hundreds of thousands of miles.
- Work in any condition — the batteries worked even in a test at -30 degrees Celsius.
And that was just data based on single-layer testing.
In late 2021, QuantumScape illustrated that its forever battery performed in 4-layer formats up to 800 charging cycles. A quarter later, the company scaled successful results to 10-layer batteries up to 800 cycles. And last year, QuantumScape successfully demonstrated its 16-layer battery’s successful results at over 500 cycles. Those are total game-changing features in the EV battery world.
Plus, this past December, the company shipped its first 24-layer prototype lithium-metal battery cells to automotive manufacturers for testing. This is a major step toward the commercialization of solid-state batteries.
In other words, the impossible is in the process of becoming possible. Forever batteries have arrived.
Of course, QuantumScape stock offers a great way to play the solid-state battery revolution.
But believe it or not, QuantumScape stock is far from the only solid-state battery stock out there with millionaire-maker potential.
The Final Word on the Forever Battery
Solid-state batteries are the future, and they represent one of the most promising technological breakthroughs of the 2020s.
Most people think of solid-state batteries as driving forward the EV Revolution. And they will – but they’re about so much more than that. Pretty much everything you use every day — your electric vehicle, your smartphone, and your laptop – all use lithium-ion batteries. The solid-state battery will revolutionize all those devices, not just EVs.
This is a multi-trillion-dollar revolution in the making.
Some of the stock market’s biggest winners in the 2020s will be solid-state battery makers.
QuantumScape projects as one of those mega-winners. But it won’t be alone. And in fact, it may not even be the biggest winner…
Rather, that title is reserved for a tiny, completely unheard-of $3 stock that could win big as solid-state batteries make EVs ubiquitous.
Originally published on InvestorPlace.com