Mercedes-Benz will use a high-efficiency anode battery in its new electric SUV. Sila, a startup battery materials company, founded by an early Tesla engineer, will supply the anode. Sila claims that its next-generation technology increases energy density and can eventually lower the cost of lithium-ion packs.
Luxury car manufacturers, which invested in Sila in 2019, will be the first customer for Sila’s materials. It will use Sila’s material in battery-powered Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUVs, due to arrive in 2025. Mercedes claims that the new silicon-based anode can provide up to 40% more energy density and a more extended driving range per charge. The organizations did not disclose the financial details of the supply deal.
Markus Schafer, chief technology officer at Mercedes-Benz, stated that Sila had made great strides since establishing our strategic partnership in 2019. “Delivering such high energy density is a game-changer. It allows us to think in completely different directions when developing future electric vehicles.”
This news comes just a month after Sila, a California-based company, announced it was building a facility in Moses Lake to make its battery anodes. The factory will produce enough anode material for electric vehicles to power half a million of them annually in its initial phase. The industry is expected to start operations in 2024. It could eventually scale up to produce enough material to power millions of EVs.
Markus Schafer, Mercedes-Benz CTO, and Sila cofounders and CEO Gene Berdichevsky
Anodes, which are also the separator material, electrolyte, and cathode, are a battery’s main components. The active material coated with. Usually, graphite allows electric current to flow through the external circuit. It also allows for the absorption of lithiumions from the cathode.
Sila CEO Gene Berdichevsky said, “We are focused on delivering cost-efficient materials, capable of delivering the promise of electric cars, working to ensure long-range energy, improved charging times, and lower battery cost per Kwh.”
Berdichevsky, Tesla’s seventh employee, was hired in 2004 to be the principal battery engineer for its Roadster, its first attempt to make an electric car. He was interested in making the lithium-ion battery he was using more economical and efficient. He founded Sila in 2011. He has raised $925million over the past ten years, including $600 million in early 2021 to help develop silicon-based technology and finance the first phase at the Washington plant.