Panasonic and battery materials company Sila Nanotechnologies have signed a commercial agreement for Sila’s nano-composite silicon anode, Titan Silicon, which could enable the battery maker to dramatically improve both vehicle range and charging time. Sila’s anode materials, to be produced at the company’s plant in Moses Lake, Washington, will be optimized for Panasonic’s next-generation lithium-ion batteries.
We report on advances in battery tech all the time, but this one might just deliver substantial performance gains on a shorter timeline than most. Finding ways to incorporate silicon, which can potentially store 10 times as much energy as graphite, into anodes is a major goal (or dare we say, Grail) for battery-makers. As Sila’s Kurt Kelty explained in a recent Charged webinar, Sila has described its Titan Silicon as a drop-in replacement, so Panasonic might be able to start production fairly quickly.
Sila calls Titan Silicon “the first market-proven graphite anode replacement, engineered for mass scale and high performance,” and claims it could deliver a 20% increase in range immediately, and double that with further development. According to the company, the nano-composite silicon also improves battery charging time, and generates substantially less CO2 per kWh than graphite during production. It’s manufactured in the US, so automakers will be able to meet requirements for the Inflation Reduction Act tax credits.
To meet the rapidly growing demand for EVs, Panasonic Energy plans to increase its global production capacity of automotive batteries to 200 GWh by 2031. By that date, the company also aims to increase the energy density of its cells to 1,000 Wh/L. Partnering with Sila is expected to represent a major step toward achieving that goal.
“By integrating Sila’s groundbreaking battery material with our advanced cell manufacturing capabilities, we believe that we can address the concerns such as range anxiety and charging time and contribute to accelerating the adoption of EVs,” said Shoichiro Watanabe, Executive VP of Panasonic Energy.
“Panasonic is the world’s leading battery technology company, aggressively pushing the boundaries for performance and we look forward to optimizing Titan Silicon to help achieve these momentous goals,” said Gene Berdichevsky, co-founder and CEO of Sila. “This partnership represents a significant milestone for Sila, our customers, and the industry at large.”