By Judith Kohler
The Denver Post
Doug Campbell, CEO and cofounder of Solid Power, and about 30 employees were at the Nasdaq MarketSite on Thursday to ring the bell to mark the company going public.
The Louisville-based startup has developed solid-state battery technology for electric vehicles and is expanding into a new production plant. Solid Power completed its merger Tuesday with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation III, a special purpose acquisition company.
Solid Power raised $542.9 million from the transaction.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Campbell said in a phone call from New York. “This fully funds our business model.”
The combined company will retain the Solid Power Inc. name. The company’s common stock and warrants are trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbols “SLDP” and “SLDPW,” respectively.
Campbell said the number of people who redeemed their investment before the merger was negligible, just 0.6%.
In 2012, Solid Power started developing its technology to produce solid-state batteries for electric vehicles.
Instead of liquids, as in a lithium ion cell, a solid-state version uses solid materials such as ceramics or polymers through which the charge moves from one electrode to another.
Solid-state batteries are considered the next evolution in electrifying transportation because they’re faster-charging and don’t have the safety risks of liquid electrolytes. The liquids are volatile and can be flammable at high temperatures.
This year General Motors recalled its Chevrolet Bolt electric car after fires were reported, raising concerns about potential defects in the lithium ion battery packs.
Hyundai Motor issued a recall after reported fires in its Kona electric vehicles.
Using solid material allows the battery to be thinner, which increases the energy density and power. However, liquids make connecting between the electrodes easier and commercial production of the solid-state batteries has been a challenge.
Solid Power has produced automotive-scale batteries and will expand its capacity when it moves into a 75,000-square-foot building in Thornton. Company officials said the move will allow them to greatly increase production of the sulfide-based electrolyte material needed for the batteries.
Operations at the new plant are expected to start in mid-2022. Solid Power has agreements to supply Ford Motor Co. and BMW Group with batteries.