Solid-state batteries might get a lot of press, but they’re still years away from powering an EV near you. But it appears a breakthrough is just around the corner: silicon anodes.
A number of companies have been racing to commercialize silicon anode battery technology, which promises double-digit-percent increases in lithium-ion cell energy density based on today’s chemistries.
One such company, Sila, today said it has signed a deal to supply Panasonic with its Titan Silicon anode material. Production will happen at Sila’s future Moses Lake facility, where the startup recently broke ground.
The supply agreement marks a significant milestone for the 13-year-old company, which has raised over $900 million to date, not including a $100 million Department of Energy grant announced in October 2022 that was earmarked for scaling up manufacturing.
“In these early, early years, as we scale up, we’ll sell our material such that the batteries have a small premium, a few percentage points more expensive for higher performance,” Sila’s co-founder and CEO, Gene Berdichevsky, told TechCrunch+.
Higher performance cells containing Titan Silicon will initially be used in luxury vehicles like the Mercedes’ electric G-Class SUV, which is scheduled to debut in 2025. Because cells with silicon anodes hold more energy, automakers can either use the same number of cells for greater performance or opt to maintain the same performance but use fewer cells. “Toward the end of the decade, that higher performance will actually lead to lower price at the battery pack level,” Berdichevsky said.