Stellantis invests in solid-state battery developer in quest for better EV powerplants

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

The maker of Jeep SUVs and Ram pickup trucks has signed a joint development agreement with the developer of high-voltage traction solid-state battery technology for electric vehicles.

Stellantis NV's agreement with Massachusetts-based Factorial Inc. includes an investment of an undisclosed amount. The companies hope by partnering, they can accelerate the development of this technology and get safer batteries with longer range to market sooner, addressing major obstacles to consumer adoption. Stellantis has said it wants to have competitive solid-state battery technology introduced by 2026, though many experts remain skeptical, saying use of solid-state batteries in electric vehicles could be a decade or more out.

Factorial Inc. and Stellantis NV are are partnering to develop solid-state batteries for electric vehicles.

“Our investment in Factorial and other highly recognized battery partners boosts the speed and agility needed to provide cutting-edge technology for our electric vehicle portfolio,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement. “Initiatives like these will yield a faster time to market and more cost-effective transition to solid-state technology.”

Factorial Energy says its solid-state batteries offer 20% to 50% longer range per charge, decreased risks for fires and cost parity with conventional lithium-ion batteries found in today's electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Factorial's advances leverage proprietary solid electrolyte material with high-voltage and high-capacity electrodes. It has scaled the technology in 40 amp hour cells that it says perform at room temperature. The batteries also can be integrated into most existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructures.

“It is a great honor to partner with Stellantis, a leading global mobility player, which has some of the most iconic auto brands in the world,” Factorial CEO Siyu Huang said in a statement. “It is an incredible opportunity for us to advance the adoption of our clean, efficient and safe solid-state battery technology to the mass market.”

The announcement comes as Factorial on Tuesday separately agreed to develop solid-state battery technology with Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz, which is a partner in Automotive Cells Co., Stellantis' battery manufacturing joint venture in Europe with TotalEnergies SE.

The German automaker is making a "high double-digit million dollar" investment in Factorial and will be able to appoint a member to Factorial's board, according to a statement from Mercedes-Benz. The partnership aims to have a testing prototype cell as early as next year and eventually extend development to include modules and integration into the vehicle battery. A limited number of vehicles as a part of a small series could have the technology integrated within the next five years.

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble