Sakuu hires Porsche to design battery gigafactories


Sakuu, a Californian developer of 3D-printed solid-state batteries, has commissioned Porsche’s consulting subsidiary Porsche Consulting to plan its targeted gigafactories worldwide. Sakuu currently operates two facilities in Silicon Valley.

++ This article has been updated; kindly continue reading below. ++

Sakuu says it plans annual production capacities of 200 GWh for lithium metal and solid-state batteries by 2030. Porsche Consulting is planning a reference large-scale factory for the US company with a sustainable setup and maximum production efficiency, which “can be efficiently replicated at various locations around the globe”, as Sakuu puts it.

While the first plant will support the production of lithium metal batteries, Sakuu plans to use its ‘Kavian’ platform solution to produce 3D-printed solid-state batteries at subsequent production facilities. According to earlier information, the self-developed printing process is, in principle, also suitable for other industries, but the company sees the greatest leverage in battery production. According to the company, various additive manufacturing processes will be combined. For example, “completely different materials” can be sprayed onto the powder bed in a single layer. In addition to ceramics and metals, the process uses a carrier material developed by Sakuu called PoraLyte. This carrier material is supposed to enable the “simple and fast” 3D printing of components with cavities without brittle ceramic layers.

Sakuu operates two Silicon Valley facilities: a pilot line for solid-state batteries and an engineering centre. Sakuu says the latter centre will enable it to scale its 3D printing battery platform. The company has not yet decided how it plans to finance the Gigafactory offensive. What is known is that Sakuu raised $62 million in a financing round in early 2022.

Gregor Harman, CEO of Porsche Consulting North America, is “thrilled to become an integral part of Sakuu’s journey as it embarks on building gigafactories that break all norms in commercial-scale energy manufacturing.” “Their seminal and scalable additive manufacturing approach can bring incredible innovation to major industries transitioning to new energy solutions— automotive and beyond,” he added.

Porsche Consulting was founded in 1994 by the car manufacturer’s internal consulting unit. Today, the company offers consulting services in the areas of production and logistics, procurement and quality, research and development, corporate development, sales and marketing, human resources and culture, and finance. The Porsche subsidiary has 840 employees at a dozen locations in Germany, France, Italy, the USA, Brazil and China. In 2021, Porsche Consulting generated sales of 212 million euros, according to its own figures.

Update 17 February 2023

Sakuu said today it has been successfully and continuously 3D printing fully functional, high-performance batteries in custom shapes and sizes since December 2022. The company manufactured these batteries as structured cells with openings for thermal management in a completely dry process at the Sakuu battery pilot plant in Silicon Valley.

Sakuu sees this as an important step towards its planned commercial production of next-generation SwiftPrint batteries, including solid-state batteries, based on its Kavian platform in gigafactories worldwide. The company did not deliver an update on how far they have come with Porsche Consulting on planning these factories as outlined in the original news above., (update Feb’ 23)


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