Shares of Ford- and BMW-backed battery supplier Solid Power surge in Nasdaq debut

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Solid Power’s 22-layer, 20Ah all solid-state lithium metal cell compared to the company’s first-generation 10-layer, 2Ah cell.
Solid Power

Shares of electric vehicle battery cell supplier Solid Power surged as much as 14% during the company’s Nasdaq debut Thursday morning following the completion of a SPAC deal.

The stock’s initial performance is similar to other electric vehicle related companies that have gone public through deals with blank-check companies. Many jump during initial trading to then level-off and become volatile over time.

Solid Power, whose investors include Ford Motor and BMW, is trading under the ticker symbol “SLDP.” Its warrants are trading under “SLDPW.” The stock was as high as $14.85 a share before retreating to about $14.20, up by 9%. Its warrants were up by about 28% as of 10:25 a.m. Thursday.

Solid Power CEO Doug Campbell told CNBC that he’s not worried about the short-term performance of the stock, including any volatility similar to previous SPAC-backed companies. He said the $542.9 million from the company’s deal to go public should fund the business until its first commercial launch with an automaker in 2026.

“We’re focused on developing and commercializing a viable product. So, in my opinion, what the stock does over the next six months or 12 months is kind of meaningless as it pertains to getting our product into the marketplace,” he said during an interview ahead of the company’s listing. “Ultimately, that’s when we plant the flag of success.”

Solid Power’s batteries differ than the ones currently being used for many EVs, including Teslas. The company makes so-called solid-state batteries, which don’t use the liquid electrolyte found in the conventional lithium-ion batteries currently used to power most electric vehicles.

Solid-state batteries can be safer and lighter, with greater energy density that provides more range at a lower cost. But they are currently more costly than lithium-ion batteries and early in development.

Campbell said the company’s solid-state batteries can be produced in a similar manner as lithium-ion batteries, allowing automakers who are investing billions in those battery cells to easily transition to solid-state batteries.

The company’s first commercialized batteries are expected to be for Ford Motor and BMW, both of which have invested in the company. Campbell said the company could provide to other companies, including large auto suppliers, but its focus right now is on producing for the two automakers.

“Job No. 1 is delivering on our roadmap specifically for Ford and BMW,” he said, declining to specify how many battery cells it plans to produce for the companies.

Solid State is currently going through a formal automotive qualification process to validate the company’s battery cells, Campbell said.

Ford, which initially invested in the company in 2019, and BMW led a $130 million funding round in Solid Power in May.

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