QuantumScape Corp. is the hottest battery-maker on the market, with recent valuations hovering between $13 billion and $20 billion. While the San Jose, California-based startup says its next-generation battery will increase the range of an electric car by as much as 50% and reduce the charging time to less than 15 minutes, it’s been tight-lipped about how.
The battery industry is highly secretive, and much of QuantumScape’s future success depends on its ability to protect its technology and retain top talent. With little standardization and no way to test claims, it’s hard for speculators in the space to judge the true risk of their investments. The combination of hype and mystery is always intoxicating for short sellers, and QuantumScape has proved no exception. Just shy of two weeks ago, activist firm Scorpion Capital issued a report calling the company a “scam.”