There is a war that has just started in the auto industry, and this is the transformation from ICE or internal combustion engine autos to EV or electric vehicles. The battle ground will be as much in the variations of the EVs that come from the global auto companies as will it be the power train and especially the battery packs.
Sila the material solutions company spent the last 10 years perfecting their material science to move away from rare earth elements as much as possible and to increase density of today's lithium-ion battery packs. To move into the next decade as a material solutions company, Sila has purchased a 600,000-square-foot warehouse in Moses Lake, Washington home to Carbon fiber manufacturing used by Boeing and BMW. Moses lake can now add lithium-anode battery materials to their manufacturing portfolio.
Sila HQ is based in Alameda, CA, but like all things, they wanted as green as possible production of their new lithium-anode battery materials and was attracted to Washington state due to the abundant hydropower. Here Sila will manufacture their silicon-based anode battery material that will allow them to produce enough material yearly to power 500 million mobile phones and up to 500,000 EVs yearly with growth on-site to produce enough material to power up to 10 million EVs per year.
Depending on the size of the cells, power density will be increased greatly as the next-gen batteries and the Sila Lithium-Anode battery material drops straight in to replace old graphite anode battery material without changing the process or equipment battery cell manufactures have in place, enabling battery suppliers to increase density and factory output without any real downtime.
Due to density improvement with Lithium-Anode material, the batteries get smaller while keeping the same power or if size is perfect, the density allows the small batteries to get more powerful. Best part is this new Lithium-Anode material allows all batteries to charge quickly as it is compatible with current DC fast charging technology up to 800V.
Gain to all industries that use this new anode material, but especially to the auto industry where longer range is achieved in the same battery footprint, faster charging performance equaling efficient charge times and lower cost batteries due to material drop into existing production systems helping to push down the cost per kWh.
Example of the gains made is in the WHOOP 4.0 personalized digital fitness and health coach wearable devices and the first to use the Sila Lithium-Anode material. The gain made for this device (WHOOP 4.0 Press Release) was a 17% energy density improvement in a smaller battery, 33% reduction in device size, 5-day battery life with a waterproof battery pack for on-the-go charging and more.
Sila Lithium-Anode material is in wear-able products and will soon be on the market in mobile phones, they talk about EVs, but who will be their first customer?
Mercedes-Benz has chosen Sila as their Lithium-Anode material supplier for the production EQG electric G-Class SUV giving this SUV their most advanced battery pack with more than 800 Wh/I at the cell level.
The testing of the Sila Lithium-Anode battery material made headlines in the real world road test of the VISION EQXX cover here earlier by Cheers and Gears.
Per Mercedes the G-Wagon will be available for sale mid-decade, so around 2025 or so. The Sila Lithium-Anode battery technology while starting in the EQG electric G-Wagon will eventually get pushed into all of the EQ product line as Mercedes uses this to replace their current battery cell tech that is being sold in the first release of their EQS sedan.
Mercedes has stated that as their principal Lithium-Anode supplier, depending on model of the EQ product line, their EVs will have up to a 40% increase in power density depending on model chosen.
Sila has committed to America global leadership in the transition to new energy storage era as this new production facility sits on 160 acres of land close to rail lines for convenient and efficient shipping to all types of companies wanting to buy their material solution. This gives them plenty of long-term growth as the initial 600,000-square-foot facility will support up to 50 GWh of cell production with the production line coming online in the second half of 2024 with full production by the start of 2025. This site has the ability to grow up to 750 GWh of production depending on use allowing this American based company to excel in both innovation and manufacturing of silicon lithium-anode battery material for global consumption.
For those that are wondering if Sila is getting any federal government help as the current U.S. administration has made climate change and ramping up of U.S. battery manufacturing a focus point, Sila CEO Gene Berdichevsky has state Sila is NOT receiving any federal help for this new factory and the production of Silicon Lithium-anode material that will replace the graphite currently used in Lithium-Ion cells.