Now, in a colossal claim, QuantumScape, a 10-year-old San Jose, California, startup backed by Bill Gates, said in an interview that it has resolved lithium’s problems, and that VW, the giant German automaker, expects to have cars using pure metallic lithium in their batteries on the road by 2025. Jagdeep Singh, QuantumScape’s CEO, also announced that the company is going public, using a so-called SPAC to list on the New York Stock Exchange in the fourth quarter. The post-listing valuation would be $4.3 billion, Singh said. In a SPAC, a company goes public by merging with an existing, listed shell company.
VW has verified the breakthrough, though Singh stressed that QuantumScape’s scientists have work remaining: QuantumScape must scale up a laboratory-based cell into a multiple-layer battery, and much could go wrong on the way. But if the claims pan out, the commercial consequences could be substantial, instantly catapulting both VW and QuantumScape into a huge competitive lead in the hotly contested battery and EV industries.