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Volkswagen-backed battery startup QuantumScape leases 200,000 square foot production site in San Jose

Volkswagen-backed battery startup QuantumScape leases 200,000 square foot production site in San Jose
Photo: Courtesy of Google Maps
By Matt Charnock - Published on April 16, 2021.

EV battery startup QuantumScape has leased a massive production site in San Jose, hinting at the company’s intent to bring its “groundbreaking” solid-state battery products to market before 2025.

Between Rivian, Tesla, and Lucid, the Bay Area has no shortage of electric automobile companies. But QuantumScape — with its unicorn technologies estimated to collectively be worth north of $20B and agreement with Volkswagen to provide the company battery packs in 2024 — is setting itself apart from the fray. (Different from those earlier mentioned EV companies, QuantumScape will exclusively design and produce battery cells and packs; the now-public company has no intentions of making branded EVs… yet.) And starting in December, the San Jose-based startup will move into a nearly 200,000 square foot site to fulfill its promise of actualizing its state-of-the-art technologies inside consumer products.

“The story of QuantumScape is a critically important one because they are leading an industry that will literally drive the future of transportation on our planet,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said in an interview with Mercury News. Like San Francisco, San Jose has seen a massive increase in commercial office vacancies since the pandemic began last March.

QuantumScape Battery, which is a subsidiary of QuantumScape, is leasing the 196,600 square foot space at 1710 Automation Way from Exeter Property Group — welcomed news for the city that's seen large companies up and go over the past twelve months. Tech giants HP Enterprise and Oracle announced plans to exit Silicon Valley in 2020, choosing to instead move their main operations to more affordable markets elsewhere in the country.

Per Business Journals, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed that a lease was signed on April 2 by the battery company for the North San Jose space. That lease is set to expire in September 2032 — a point of positive change for the city, per Mayor Liccardp.

“Headlines tend to focus on who is moving headquarters,” Mayor Liccardo said. “But the reality of job creation in Silicon Valley is about smaller companies growing in this place, much more than about companies moving in or out of this region.”

QuantumScape — despite seeing its stock price plummet 15% Thursday after a popular short-seller compared the company to Theranos, less than a month after the company opened another 1,560,000 additional shares of its Class A common stock to the public — is working toward developing a lithium-metal battery. Unlike traditional liquid-state lithium batteries used in the vast majority of EVs, these solid-state iterations would boast higher energy densities and also support both quicker recharge times and less severe battery degradation over time.