Volkswagen Group has just announced that it's taking a bigger stake in a US-based solid-state battery company. It increases the company's collaboration with Quantumscape and triples the automaker's investment in the battery tech company.

VW first started its collaboration with San Jose-based QuantumScape back in 2012, and the $100 million investment then made it the company's largest auto shareholder. Now up to $200 million will go to help allow the production of solid-state batteries for VW at an industrial level. The two plan to set up a pilot plant with details to be announced later this year.

“We are making technological progress with our partner QuantumScape. The additional investment will effectively strengthen and accelerate our joint development work”, said Thomas Schmall, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components, the branch of VW that handles batteries.

Solid-state battery cells could allow for much longer ranges than current cell chemistries as well as allow for shortened charge times, making them a more viable internal combustion replacement for more drivers and in more situations.

“We are securing our global supply base with efficient producers, gradually building up manufacturing capacities and driving the development of cutting-edge solid-state battery technology. Our focus in this context is on long-term strategic partnerships," said Volkswagen Group battery cell boss Frank Blome.