Vietnamese automaker VinFast, which expects to launch two electric vehicles in the U.S. market this year, is partnering with Taiwanese battery startup ProLogium Technology on solid-state EV batteries for delivery as early as 2024, VinFast said in a statement.
VinFast, through parent company Vingroup, is investing “tens of millions of U.S. dollars” in ProLogium to support the startup’s proprietary solid-state technology, VinFast said Wednesday.
It also signed a memorandum of understanding to secure battery supplies from ProLogium for its next-generation vehicles, VinFast said.
“VinFast has focused on investing and building strategic partnerships with leading companies in the industry and breakthrough technology companies,” said Le Thi Thu Thuy, VinFast Global CEO. “ProLogium is one of our key partners, helping VinFast quickly master the supply of solid-state batteries.”
On its corporate website, ProLogium says its solid-state batteries provide higher energy density and faster charging than conventional batteries, which use a liquid electrolyte rather than a solid material.
“We are a major innovator in battery technology with already proven manufacturing capabilities and we aim to become a main driver for a sustainable world through high performance, safe and affordable technologies,” said ProLogium CEO Vincent Yang in the news release.
ProLogium is one of several startups working on solid-state battery technology, which could significantly reduce EV production costs. They include Colorado-based Solid Power with investment from Ford Motor Co. and BMW, and California-based QuantumScape backed by Volkswagen.
“ProLogium plans to provide solid-state battery cells to VinFast starting from 2024 to support its next generation lineup,” VinFast said. “ProLogium’s first major solid state battery plant, which is slated to launch in early 2023, will devote a significant portion of the facility’s production capacity to supply VinFast.”
The automaker said it may also establish a joint venture with ProLogium for a battery factory in Vietnam.
VinFast is a new automaker that began producing combustion-engine vehicles for its home market in 2019 based on technology from BMW. The automaker is phasing out combustion engines in favor of newly developed EVs as it expands to global markets, starting with the U.S., Canada and Europe.
VinFast is taking U.S. orders on its midsize VF 8 and VF 9 crossovers, with expected deliveries by the end of the year. VinFast delivered its first EV in Vietnam in December, but that model was smaller than the two-row and three-row crossovers coming to the U.S. and Canada.
In March, VinFast said it will build an electric vehicle assembly plant and battery manufacturing facility in North Carolina. VinFast said it will break ground on the initial $2 billion plant this year and begin production in 2024.