Recognizing the importance electrification will mean to multiple business segments, Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc. has entered into a strategic investment in Fisker Inc., an e-mobility and technology company. The wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. specializes in construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. That range will expand with its investment in Fisker’s solid-state battery technology, which has applications in construction, energy storage, transportation, and mining industries.
This venture comes as Fisker has introduced ways to overcome limitations in solid-state technology, including low-electrode current density, limited temperature ranges, limited materials availability, high costs, and non-scalable manufacturing processes. Early results have shown that Fisker’s solid-state technology enables extremely high electronic and ionic conductivities—meaning fast charging and cold temperature operation. The company states its technology delivers more energy density than typical lithium-ion batteries—which it says reaches about 250 Whr/kg and approximately 750 Whr/L. The energy density of its post Li-ion chemistries can reach 350 to 500 Whr/kg and 800 to 1,200 Whr/l, it reports.
Fisker’s patent includes claims over novel materials and manufacturing processes that are critical in achieving the required energy density, power, and cost targets paramount for the widespread use of electric vehicles.