May you inform us somewhat concerning the science behind your solid-state battery cells and the disruptive side of it?

Strong Energy replaces the flammable liquid electrolyte in a traditional lithium-ion battery with a proprietary sulfide-based strong electrolyte. Consequently, Strong Energy’s all-solid-state battery cells are anticipated to be safer and extra steady throughout a broad temperature vary and supply a rise in power density in comparison with the very best accessible rechargeable battery cells. Strong Energy additionally anticipates our all-solid-state battery cells will allow inexpensive battery pack designs because of the elimination of pricy and extensively engineered battery pack cooling schemes.  Strong Energy’s battery expertise is suitable with conventional lithium-ion manufacturing processes, which we anticipate will velocity our path to market and preserve our cell costs aggressive with in the present day’s and tomorrow’s industry-standard lithium-ion battery cells.

What are your ideas on the present battery expertise panorama and the way forward for solid-state expertise?

At this time’s liquid electrolyte-based lithium-ion battery cell expertise helped introduce the opportunity of broad adoption of electrical automobiles. Nevertheless, this first-generation expertise is reaching a sensible restrict the place additional investments into growth present diminishing returns as a result of issues about security, power density, and stability. With out additional enhancements to electrical car battery pack efficiency, client demand for electrical automobiles might plateau over time. Particularly, we consider that in the present day’s liquid electrolyte-based lithium-ion battery cells undergo from 4 key issues that discourage the widespread acceptance of electrical automobiles:

  • Restricted drive vary. Present lithium-ion battery cell expertise doesn’t present sufficient power density to assist prolonged drives earlier than requiring recharging.
  • Brief calendar life. We estimate that in the present day’s electrical car battery cells usually can have a calendar life (i.e., earlier than seeing vital degradation) that’s shorter than the common age of the common passenger car in operation, which IHS Markit estimated was 11.9 years in 2020. This disparity should be addressed so homeowners of electrical automobiles can preserve their automobiles, with out having to interchange battery packs, for at the least so long as they’d usually preserve their comparable conventional inner combustion automobiles.
  • Abuse tolerance. The liquid electrolyte-based lithium-ion battery cell utilized in present electrical car battery packs comprises extremely flammable and risky elements that create security dangers when uncovered to abuse circumstances.
  • Costly supplies and pack techniques. At this time’s battery packs are complicated and, as a result of temperature sensitivity and the extremely flammable and risky elements, require cooling techniques to keep up stability and appreciable engineering to mitigate danger. This will increase the price of battery pack manufacturing.

Strong Energy’s all-solid-state battery cell expertise addresses these roadblocks. By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, Strong Energy can enhance car vary, enhance inside house and cargo quantity, ship decrease prices and higher worth for purchasers and extra effectively combine this type of solid-state battery cell expertise into present lithium-ion cell manufacturing processes – a key barrier for the present battery market.

May you add somewhat extra color round your relationship with Ford and BMW?

Strong Energy started its relationship with BMW in 2017 asserting a joint growth settlement to develop all-solid-state batteries for electrical automobiles. In 2018, Strong Energy raised its Sequence A, which Ford participated in. We additionally introduced a JDA to develop all-solid-state batteries for electrical automobiles. In Might 2021, BMW and Ford each participated in Strong Energy’s Sequence B and expanded their present joint growth agreements with a purpose to safe Strong Energy’s batteries for forthcoming electrical automobiles. Strong Energy anticipates delivering full-scale “A Pattern” all-solid-state cells in 2022, formally getting into into the automotive qualification course of. Strong Energy anticipates to be the primary next-gen battery to enter into auto qualification in 2022.

By way of manufacturing, we perceive that Strong Energy is near reaching full autonomy. May you replace us on the stage reached?

At this time, Strong Energy operates a Colorado-based pilot manufacturing line that’s able to constructing prototype all-solid-state cells for testing functions. In 2022, Strong Energy anticipates the completion of its “EV Cell Line” that shall be able to constructing full-scale automotive cells particularly for the automotive qualification course of.

In October 2021, Strong Energy introduced a partnership with South Korean lithium-ion battery producer, SK Innovation. The partnership is meant to permit SK Innovation to provide Strong Energy’s cells for the later levels of automotive qualification. Long run, Strong Energy anticipates licensing its cell enterprise to a third-party cell producer whereas producing and promoting within the core strong electrolyte materials.  Along with this, Strong Energy introduced a second Colorado-based facility in October the place it anticipates growing electrolyte manufacturing by 25x.

What alternatives does this partnership with SK Innovation deliver?

With the battery market poised to develop by $82.89 billion between 2021-2025, corporations should obtain battery manufacturing processes which can be scalable and suitable with present lithium-ion manufacturing expertise to stay profitable in an more and more crowded discipline. Strong Energy intends to make the most of this by licensing its proprietary cell expertise, manufacturing know-how and practices to SK Innovation to allow full integration of the corporate’s sulfide-based strong electrolyte materials into SK Innovation’s present cell manufacturing surroundings. This might enable Strong Energy a faster path to market that’s rather more capital environment friendly as we don’t intend to boost and deploy billions to construct our personal giga factories.

Strong Energy has a particular goal acquisition firm (SPAC) merger finalizing quickly with Riverstone Holdings’ Decarbonisation Plus Acquisition Company III (DCRC). How will you utilize the capital and the way do you see the corporate by late 2023? 

Strong Energy is laser-focused on our commitments to our two automotive companions, BMW and Ford. We anticipate constructing our EV Cell Line in 2022 to provide full-scale automotive batteries for automotive qualification testing whereas increasing the manufacturing of our strong electrolyte materials. In 2023, Strong Energy anticipates transferring to the second stage of automotive qualification testing, which might finish with a cell design that meets all automotive necessities and is design frozen.

We perceive that some carmakers (VW, Tesla and even Apple) are taking a better curiosity in LFP (lithium-iron-phosphate) cathode materials chemistries. Why such curiosity in materials chemistry now? Does this sign a shift throughout the EV {industry}? 

LFP is coming again “into model” primarily for value causes.

Strong Energy’s cells are anticipated to be $85/kWh when produced at scale, which is decrease than in the present day’s NMC-based cell design prices. We consider it is going to be consistent with NMC cell prices in 2025-2026. Strong Energy see’s additional value financial savings with its all-solid-state cell, particularly on the pack stage because of the elimination of pricey battery pack cooling, which accounts for roughly 10 per cent of the pack value.

Strong Energy and SK Innovation collaborating on EV cells

BMW/Strong Energy to develop solid-state batteries for EV purposes