QuantumScape Provides Panasonic Manufacturing Government to Board

(Bloomberg) — QuantumScape Corp. is appointing a key Panasonic Corp. govt to its board, beefing up essential manufacturing experience on the electric-vehicle battery firm because it makes an attempt to construct its cells at scale. Celina Mikolajczak, vice chairman of engineering and battery know-how for Panasonic Vitality of North America, can be the primary lady


(Bloomberg) — QuantumScape Corp. is appointing a key Panasonic Corp. govt to its board, beefing up essential manufacturing experience on the electric-vehicle battery firm because it makes an attempt to construct its cells at scale.

Celina Mikolajczak, vice chairman of engineering and battery know-how for Panasonic Vitality of North America, can be the primary lady to affix its present 10-member board, which incorporates enterprise capitalist John Doerr and Tesla Inc.’s former chief know-how officer, J.B. Straubel.

QuantumScape is amongst a bunch of firms growing solid-state batteries, which might dramatically pace up EV adoption by offering automakers with a safer, cheaper different to present lithium-ion know-how. After clearing a technical hurdle in February, the corporate is constructing a 200,000-square-foot (18,600-square-meter) pilot line in California to make prototype cells for accomplice Volkswagen AG and presumably different automakers.

“We’re going to make use of her past a director. We’re going to have her taking a look at our instrument choices, course of choices,” QuantumScape Chief Government Officer Jagdeep Singh stated in an interview. “She will save us a ton of hassle. As an alternative of getting to make the errors and be taught on our personal, we will be taught from her errors.”

Earlier than becoming a member of Panasonic in 2019, Mikolajczak labored on battery improvement for ride-sharing autos at Uber Applied sciences Inc. She was additionally an engineer at Tesla, the place she helped develop battery cells and packs for the Mannequin S, X and three autos.

QuantumScape decided it could actually carry on Mikolajczak whereas she stays at Panasonic with out creating conflicts of curiosity or endangering both firm’s commerce secrets and techniques.

“We compete in two completely different segments of the market and we thought the experience that Celina brings is so useful to us,” Singh stated. “She’s a recognized amount.”

QuantumScape is making an attempt to make lithium-metal batteries, which signify a leap in lithium-ion know-how. Panasonic isn’t but making an attempt that feat and is sticking with the standard lithium-ion batteries which might be normal within the automotive trade.

Learn extra: QuantumScape’s $20 Billion Leap From SPAC to Battery Future

Mikolajczak’s appointment additionally will get QuantumScape one-third of the best way to complying with a California legislation that requires public firms with a minimum of six board members to have three feminine administrators by the tip of this 12 months.

Whereas QuantumScape says its batteries might supply about 50% extra vary than present industrial battery know-how, the corporate has but to display it could actually manufacture its new battery on a mass scale. The corporate should show it could actually to change into commercially viable.

That uncertainty, mixed with the inventory’s surge, has drawn assaults from brief sellers and made the shares unstable. Shares of QuantumScape plunged as a lot as 16% Thursday after hedge fund Scorpion Capital printed a report saying the corporate was a “rip-off.” The startup pushed again in opposition to that allegation, providing a 10-point rebuttal.

“QS stands by its knowledge, which speaks for itself,” the corporate stated in a press release, which it additionally tweeted. “We’ve supplied greater transparency than another solid-state battery effort we’re conscious of.”

The corporate raised greater than $700 million by going public by way of a reverse merger final 12 months with blank-check firm Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. QuantumScape raised one other $463 million final month to construct its new battery pilot line in California, dubbed QS-0.

(Updates with firm response to brief vendor report in penultimate paragraph.)

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