Lithium-ion battery performance has plateaued in recent years, but a breakthrough in technology promises new heights in sight.
Batteries made with silicon instead of graphite – the material commonly used in battery anodes today – have been shown to provide significantly higher energy density and faster charging.
“The silicon anode has 10 times the energy density of graphite,” according to CEO Kang Sun of Amprius Technologies, one of the companies working on the technology.
“We have demonstrated that we can charge up to 80% in less than six minutes,” added Jon Bornstein, the company’s chief operating officer. Amprius is already working with Airbusthe US military, AeroVironment and BAE systems on the first iterations of its silicon anode batteries.
Sila Nanotechnologies, which was started by a group of ex-Tesla battery engineers, is also working on silicon anode technology. The company has been on the market since 2021 with its Titan Silicon product used in the WHOOP fitness tracker. He is now moving into automotive production.
“Our first automotive customer will be mercedes“, said CEO and co-founder Gene Berdichevsky. “They announced a supply agreement with us to put us in their electric vehicles and they will start with the iconic G Wagon.”
Porsche also plans to use silicon anode technology in its vehicles and has invested in Washington State-based Group14 Technologies.
“The head of Porsche R&D…said that at Porsche the soul of the vehicle is the engine and the transmission…they think the next soul of the vehicle will be the battery cell,” the CEO of Group14 said and said. said co-founder Rick Luebbe.
The three companies have announced plans to build nationwide, gigawatt-hour-scale manufacturing facilities over the next few years. Financial support came from the US Department of Energy as part of President Biden’s infrastructure bill to boost US battery supply chains and production.
See the video to learn more about silicon anode batteries and why the automotive industry is betting on them.