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Within the context of the rapid development of Electric Vehicles, one of the main hurdles until now has been the need to make breakthroughs in battery technology, allowing longer mileage and much faster charging time.
We have been monitoring for months a company that has developed Quantum Batteries, a technology that is based on the principles guiding quantum computing.
Time has come to dip a toe in this technology of the future
BUY QUANTUMSCAPE CORP; QS US @ 54.50
QuantumScape is setting itself up as a leader in EV battery technology and a potential supplier of the next generation of battery and power systems for the EV market.
QuantumScape designs and builds solid-state lithium-metal batteries, the highest energy density battery system currently available, otherwise known as Quantum Batteries.
Batteries are ubiquitous in our everyday lives, with lithium-ion batteries being the most commonly used type
The quantum phase battery is a different beast altogether. While classical batteries convert chemical energy into voltage, which powers electronic circuits, quantum technologies use circuits or devices based on superconducting materials.
In superconducting materials, currents flow without the need for an applied voltage.
With quantum computers for example, there is no need for a classical battery.
Supercurrents get their name from the fact that they do not exhibit any energy losses. They are induced from a phase difference of the wave function of the quantum circuit, rather than from a voltage.
This means that a quantum device able to provide a persistent phase difference can be seen as a quantum phase battery, which induces supercurrents in a quantum circuit.
That is exactly what Francesco Giazotto and Elia Strambini from the NEST-CNR Institute, Pisa have built. They built on the work of Sebastian Bergeret and Ilya Tokatly, both Donostia international Physics Center (DIPC) associate researchers, who devised the idea of a quantum phase battery in 2015.
Bergeret and Tokatly’s idea consisted in a combination of superconducting, and magnetic materials with an intrinsic relativistic effect, called spin-orbit coupling.
Giazotto and Strambini’s contribution was to identify a suitable material combination that allowed them to fabricate the first quantum phase battery. Their results have been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Their quantum phase battery consists of an n-doped InAs nanowire forming the core of the battery (the pile) and Al superconducting leads as poles. It is charged by applying an external magnetic field, which then can be switched off.
Cristina Sanz-Fernández and Claudio Guarcello, from CFM, adapted the theory to simulate the experimental findings.
The battery was further developed and improved at CFM premises in a collaboration between the Nanophysics Lab and the Mesoscopic Physics Group.
QuantumScape is the first corporation to have mastered the technology for industrial use and built an industrial process to make it available commercially sometimes in 2025.
QuantumScape is betting that these advantages will outweigh the technology’s current higher cost, and create a new standard in EV power systems.
The key advantages of the technology are in safety, lifespan, and charging times.
Solid-state batteries are non-flammable; they last longer than lithium-ion batteries, with less capacity loss at the anode interface; and their composition allows faster charging, of 15 minutes or less to reach 80% capacity.
The company’s strongest tie to the EV production field is its connection with Volkswagen.
The German auto giant put $100 million into QuantumScape in 2018, and an additional $200 million in 2020. The two companies are using their partnership to prepare for mass-scale development and production of solid-state batteries.
QuantumScape went public through a SPAC agreement late last year. The agreement, which closed on November 27, put the QS ticker in the public markets – where it promptly surged above $130 per share. While the stock has since slipped, it remains up 47% from its NYSE opening.
We have been watching the stock for several months now since it has been floated and see the current move as the right signal to build a position.
Morgan Stanley put it on its buy recommendation list on February 11th , triggering the BUY signal.
For Morgan Stanley’s analyst Jonas, involvement in QuantumScape stock comes with high risk, but also high potential reward. In fact, the analyst calls it, “The Biotech of Battery Development.”
“We believe their solid state technology addresses a very big impediment in battery science (energy density) that, if successful, can create extremely high value to a wide range of customers in the auto industry and beyond.
The risks of moving from a single layer cell to a production car are high, but we think these are balanced by the commercial potential and the role of Volkswagen to help underwrite the early manufacturing ramp,”.
Although it is extremely difficult to put any kind of valuation of the company at the current stage, QS is probably the best positioned to become the world leader in a technology that has tremendous implications and the potential to completely revolutionise the way we store energy.
The deployment of Electric Vehicles could accelerate markedly with the adoption of these quickly rechargeable batteries.
We feel that QS should be held as a long term – and volatile – holding in any portfolio.
We are adding it to our Model Portfolio today.
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