In order for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries to hit future automotive targets, further advances and developments are necessary. The conventional chemistry (graphite anodes, lithium metal oxide cathodes) which has been thoroughly optimized, is reaching a technological limit. Achieving dramatic performance improvements while ensuring high levels of safety requires moving to a new generation of materials chemistry, one that increases storage efficiency while still working cost-effectively with conventional cell manufacturing processes.
BMW plans to incorporate Sila’s silicon anodes into a plug-in electric vehicle by 2023. BMW expects an increase of 10% to 15% in battery pack capacity in a single leap.
Sila Nano’s team is focused on developing and commercializing the next generation of battery materials. Their first products are a family of silicon-dominant anode materials that replace conventional graphite electrodes. These materials work today and enable high cycle life, ultra-low swelling, and high energy density in next generation battery cells. Sila Nano’s materials drop into the existing battery manufacturing process, and can be manufactured economically at scale.
To accelerate development, the BMW Group has been working throughout its long-term partnership with Sila Nano to develop Sila Nano’s silicon anode material for the automotive market. In this effort, the companies are working together to apply Sila Nano’s breakthrough technology to achieve the performance and industrialization required for high-performance electric cars.
“At Sila we deliver the next generation of battery materials, which enable improved energy storage, require no change to battery manufacturing, and scale economically with mass production,” Gene Berdichevsky, CEO of Sila Nano said. “These innovations will introduce a new performance standard for electric vehicles in the early 2020s.”
Sila Nano is growing rapidly and expanding its teams at the San Francisco Bay Area HQ, at additional manufacturing locations, and in Europe and Asia, to support a wide range of customers and partners in the automotive and consumer markets.