Sila Nanotechnologies presents new anode material

The Californian battery material specialist Sila Nanotechnologies has presented Titan Silicon, its anode material made of nanocomposite silicon (NCS). It is said to help electric vehicles achieve 20 per cent more range today – with the potential to double the range advantage in the future.

Titan Silicon is also said to significantly improve the charging time of the battery. According to Sila, even vehicles that currently need 60 minutes at the charging station to bring the battery from 10 to 80 per cent could do so in 20 minutes in the future. Future versions of the material could reduce this time to about 10 minutes, the company says.

Another advantage, it says, is reduced weight and smaller size. Sila writes that these are respectively 15 and 20 per cent smaller than standard electric car batteries.

Sila says it makes the material “the first market-proven, safe and clean replacement for graphite anodes”. The battery material specialist’s first publicly named automotive customer is Mercedes-Benz: the carmaker plans to offer the Californian company’s silicon anode chemistry as an option for the first time for the future electric G-Class.

“Titan Silicon is the highest performing nano-composite silicon in the market today,” says Sila CEO Gene Berdichevsky. “Our battery and materials teams are constantly iterating and improving upon our chemistry to deliver the best, and most cost-efficient results possible.”

Sila is replacing graphite electrodes entirely with silicon-dominated composites and is currently building a manufacturing facility in Washington state. The plant is expected to come online in the second half of next year, where it will produce enough Titan Silicon for up to one million electric cars over the next five years.

Sila initially plans to produce the anode material for ten GWh of cells annually if the material is used as a full graphite replacement, or up to 50 GWh of cells if it is used as a partial replacement. The Moses Lake site has the potential for further expansion to reach a production volume for 150 GWh or 750 GWh of cells.


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