Ford has raised its stake in a small Colorado battery startup, a move that Chief Product and Operations Officer Hau Thai-Tang says will help in the race to increase range and cut costs in the next generation of electric vehicles. (May 5)
HUANG THAI-TANG: There's so much interest in solid-state because of the promise of a much higher levels of energy density. So for customers, that basically means they can drive farther with the more range. Smaller format. So as you get better energy and power density, the cells get smaller. So that allows the vehicles to become lighter for the same range, as well as more space for for people and their things instead of four batteries.
And then, of course, cost. Being able to drive the cost per kilowatt hour down, which will speed up the adoption of battery electric vehicles. As you get improvements in energy density, you can either maintain the current range and use fewer batteries, or you can give the customers even more range within the physical package of that battery size that's protected in the vehicle architecture. So, we haven't made that determination of how we would do it, but we're seeing roughly 25% to 30% improvement in energy dense.