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Volkswagen-backed QuantumScape to go public via SPAC to bring solid-state batteries to EVs

QuantumScape, the solid-state battery firm backed by Volkswagen Group, has agreed to merge with a particular function acquisition firm Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. because it goals to boost the capital it must commercialize solid-state batteries for electrical automobiles.

The merger will give QuantumScape a post-deal market valuation of $3.Three billion.

QuantumScape mentioned it was in a position to elevate greater than $700 million by way of the enterprise mixture, a determine that features $500 million in personal funding in public fairness, or PIPE. The elevate was anchored by institutional buyers together with Fidelity Management & Research Company and Janus Transaction. The mixed firm might be named QuantumScape and is anticipated to stay listed on the NYSE and commerce underneath the brand new ticker image “QS.”

The merger and related PIPE transaction will fund the corporate’s plans to first manufacturing, based on QuantumScape founder and CEO Jagdeep Singh. Numerous automakers have pursued solid-state batteries, however challenges equivalent to value have hampered efforts to industrial the know-how.

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Electric automobiles on the street in the present day are geared up with lithium-ion batteries. A battery accommodates two electrodes. There’s an anode (destructive) on one facet and a cathode (optimistic) on the opposite. An electrolyte sits within the center and acts because the courier that strikes ions between the electrodes when charging and discharging. Solid-state batteries use a stable electrolyte and never a liquid or gel-based electrolyte present in lithium-ion batteries.

Developers declare that stable electrolytes have higher vitality density, which interprets into squeezing extra vary out of a smaller and lighter battery. Solid electrolytes are also presupposed to be higher at thermal administration, decreasing the chance of fireside and the reliance on the sorts of cooling techniques present in in the present day’s EVs.

Summer of the SPAC

QuantumScape joins what seems to be a seemingly countless line of venture-backed corporations which have eschewed the normal IPO path and as a substitute opted to go public by way of a reverse merger with a SPAC, or blank-check firm.  QuantumScape can also be a part of a smaller and notable group of electrical vehicle-related corporations which have introduced plans to go public by way of a SPAC. EV corporations Canoo, Fisker Inc., Lordstown Motors and Nikola Corp. have gone public, or introduced plans to, by way of a SPAC merger this spring and summer time.

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Unlike a few of the corporations on this new batch of SPACs, QuantumScape can hardly be referred to as a startup. The Stanford University spinout has been working for a decade on growing solid-state batteries and designing a scalable manufacturing course of to commercialize its battery know-how for the automotive business.

Volkswagen enterprise

QuantumScape attracted consideration and capital early on from high-profile enterprise corporations like Kleiner Perkins and Khosla Ventures. Volkswagen entered the image in 2012. The automaker has invested a complete of $300 million in QuantumScape, together with $200 million this 12 months.

The coronary heart of the VW-QuantumScape relationship is a three way partnership, which was introduced in 2018, that goals to speed up the event of solid-state battery know-how after which produce them at industrial scale. The corporations have plans to arrange a pilot plant for the industrial-level manufacturing of the solid-state batteries. Volkswagen mentioned in June that plans for the pilot manufacturing facility might be “firmed up” someday this 12 months.

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QuantumScape’s board can also be loaded with notable buyers and consultants within the electrical automobile business, notably former Tesla CTO and Redwood Materials founder JB Straubel, who referred to as QuantumScape’s solid-state anode-less design “essentially the most elegant structure I’ve seen for a lithium-based battery system.”

Kensington Chairman and CEO Justin Mirro may also be part of the mixed firm’s board of administrators.


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