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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

QuantumScape, a battery startup whose backers include VW and Bill Gates, announced it has made a major breakthrough in developing solid-state technology.

Why it matters: Effective solid-state batteries are something of a holy grail thanks to the promise of more energy density, durability and safety than existing battery tech.

What they're saying: “The potential now exists for this technology to make its way into real cars on real roads within the next few years," CEO Jagdeep Singh tells Fortune.

  • The company began trading publicly last week after a reverse merger.

By the numbers: Via Wired's piece on today's rollout..."According to QuantumScape’s data, its cell can charge to 80 percent of capacity in 15 minutes, it retains more than 80 percent of its capacity after 800 charging cycles, it’s noncombustible, and it has a volumetric energy density of more than 1,000 watt-hours per liter at the cell level, which is nearly double the energy density of top-shelf commercial lithium-ion cells."

The big picture: Axios alum and battery expert Steve LeVine, writing for Medium, says the data release "won’t put to rest skepticism about the reality of commercializing metallic lithium batteries."

  • But his detailed item adds: "[S]everal leading researchers who examined QuantumScape’s data said in interviews that they were impressed with what they saw, especially that the company’s battery was depicted as working at normal temperature and charging in 15 minutes or less."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 22, 2021 - Economy & Business

Charging network EVgo is going public via SPAC

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

EVgo, a big player in electric vehicle charging, said this morning that it's going public via a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Driving the news: The Los Angeles-based company, which has charging stations in 34 states, expects the deal will bring in $575 million that will "be used to fully fund and accelerate EVgo’s growth strategy and network buildout."

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO sees making own chips as a matter of national security

Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Axios on HBO

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is putting the pressure on the U.S. government to help subsidize chip manufacturing, insisting the current reliance on plants in Taiwan and Korea as "geopolitically unstable."

Why it matters: There is bipartisan support for funding the domestic semiconductor industry, but Congress has yet to sign the check. The Senate has passed the CHIPS Act that includes $52 billion in semiconductor investment, but it has yet to pass the House.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children are among a group of 17 missionaries kidnapped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, per a statement from Christian Aid Ministries Sunday.

The latest: "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children," the Ohio-based group said. Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne on Sunday identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.