Sila, a California-based EV battery materials startup, announced today that its range-boosting silicon-based anodes, “Titan Silicon,” are now commercially available after beginning mass production. The upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQG G Wagon will be the first to feature the new battery material.
Sila begins producing Titan Silicon to boost EV battery range
In practice, silicon anodes offer the ability to store 10X more charge than graphite and other metal alloys in the same amount of space, making them an ideal solution for EV batteries.
Experimental reports have shown an up to 40% increase in the energy density of silicon anode-based LIBs (Si-LIBs). However, silicon has also been shown to expand and contract, something that is negligible for EV use.
According to estimates from IDTechEx, investments in silicon anodes have soared over the past few years, with over 1.9 billion in cumulative funding.
Sila, a Silicon Valley startup, has attracted a significant portion of the funds. The EV battery materials company says its Titan Silicon is the “first market-proven safe, and clean full graphite anode replacement engineered for mass scale to dramatically boost EV performance.”
The company added:
Titan Silicon can deliver a 20% increase in range today, which could be up to 100 extra miles for some EVs, with a development runway to double those gains in future releases.
In addition, Sila says its Titan Silicon can improve charging performance, charging a battery from 10% to 80% in as little as 20 minutes with plans to reduce it further in future releases.
Sila says it has achieved these results without sacrificing cycle life or safety with a low swell compared to graphite anodes, reducing EV battery weight by up to 15% while saving 20% more space.
Perhaps, more importantly, Titan Silicon generates 50% to 75% less CO2 per kWh than graphite during production, further reducing EV’s environmental impact.
The technology behind Titan Silicon is in-market today in the fitness tracker called WHOOP 4.0. The company is tailoring its high-performance nano-composite silicon for mass production and is expected to become commercially available in the second half of 2024.
Sila aims to produce enough material to power one million EVs in the next five years, beginning with the Mercedes-Benz EQG G Wagon.
Sila’s anodes will power the Mercedes EQG electric G Wagon
Mercedes-Benz initially invested in Sila back in 2019, seeking advanced battery material for its future EV lineup.
The German automaker advanced the partnership last May, revealing a new supply agreement to use Sila’s NCS for its electric luxury fleet, starting with the Mercedes EQG electric G Wagon.
Chief technology officer and member of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Markus Schäfer, praised Sila’s progress last spring, saying:
Sila has come a long way since we established our strategic partnership in 2019. They have been proving their ability to not only deliver scientific innovation at the highest level, but also their ability to manufacture high quality material. We’re glad that in Sila we have a leading partner who will help us power our future generation of electric luxury vehicles with their highly innovative anode technology. Delivering such a high energy density is a true game changer and allows us to think in completely new directions when developing future electric cars. Our partnership with Sila is another essential step on our way to build the most desirable electric luxury cars.
Mercedes said it believes it can utilize the chemistry to store more energy in the same amount of space, therefore delivering an improved range.
Mercedes electric G wagon is due out by the end of 2024 or 2025, just in time for Sila’s tech to arrive. More information is expected as it gets closer to launch.