Apple reportedly working on an electric car sends the stock of this Bill Gates-backed battery startup surging
What Apple (AAPL) may be working on has electrified the stocks of a hot startup.
According to Reuters, Apple could start producing its own electric vehicle as early as 2024. The car is powered by a "groundbreaking" monocell battery design that offers a longer range than conventional batteries for electric vehicles. Apple, which did not respond to Yahoo Finance's request for comment, is also reportedly investigating the use of a lithium iron phosphate battery pack that would not contain a hard-to-break metal cobalt.
Speculation about what could easily be called an iCar shed light on the proportions of the battery launch QuantumScape (QS). Shares rose 29% on Monday and rose 10% on the Tuesday before trading. The stock is up 417% over the past three months.
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QuantumScape - founded by Jagdeep Singh in 2010 and early supported by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and auto giant Volkswagen - has recently made great strides in bringing an important battery technology to market. Singh publicly announced test results for QuantumScape's solid-state battery earlier this month. QuantumScape's data showed that the battery cell can be charged to 80% of capacity in 15 minutes. In addition, it retains more than 80% of its capacity after 800 charge cycles, is non-flammable, and has almost twice the energy density of commercial high-end lithium batteries.
The market took this initial move as two things (and then sent the stock higher).
First, QuantumScape may have created the battery, which addresses some of the biggest problems facing EVs: charging speed and safety. Second, the company's battery breakthrough can be used for other commercial applications.
Given the speculation about the iCar, the QuantumScape investment thesis could now have a new crease (which explains the stock's surge this week). That said, automakers already obsessed with getting ahead of Tesla in electric vehicles could try to secure batteries from QuantumScape in an attempt to outsmart the new Apple entrant.
However, investors who continue to pile into QuantumScape are taking a huge risk.
For starters, the company is not expected to start producing its solid-state batteries until 2025. And when the batteries ship, they'll likely support electric cars first from Volkswagen, which owns 31% of QuantumScape's outstanding shares after the company's SPAC debut several months ago.
"Unfortunately, batteries take a long time to hit the market. We have to scale productions and develop technologies," Singh recently told Yahoo Finance Live.
Jagdeep Singh, Founder of QuantumScape, spoke to Yahoo Finance about its battery technology.
Meanwhile, it is unclear whether QuantumScape will need to raise more capital before starting battery production as the business is capital intensive. Singh said the company has $ 1 billion on balance sheet and is well capitalized for its battery manufacturing mission.
If Singh could create an electrifying future for super batteries, it could pay off. The company estimates revenue at $ 6.4 billion and adjusted operating income to be $ 1.6 billion through 2028.
A spokesperson for QuantumScape didn't immediately return Yahoo Finance's request for comment on whether the company and Apple could work together on a battery.
Brian Sozzi is an editor and presenter at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.
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