Sila prepares US plant for production of silicon anode material
Sila Nanotechnologies is expanding its plant in Moses Lake in the US state of Washington for the commercial production of the Titan Silicon anode presented in spring this year, based on nanocomposite silicon (NCS). The activities now underway in Moses Lake include establishing production lines and quality systems for the automotive industry. The company says that the plant will have sufficient capacity right from the start of production to supply several automotive customers, including Mercedes-Benz.
Sila’s Titan Silicon anode is said to offer a 20 per cent higher energy density than today’s graphite cells. The new material is also said to improve the battery charging time. The first publicly announced automotive customer of the battery material specialist is Mercedes-Benz, which intends to use the Californian company’s silicon anode chemistry in its upcoming electric G-Class.
Gene Berdichevsky, co-founder and CEO of Sila, explained the need for early large-scale expansion, “For an innovation to have a meaningful impact on accelerating the adoption of EVs, two things are imperative. First, the new technology must deliver superior performance, raising the bar and making EVs more appealing to a broader group of people – which we accomplished with the launch of our Titan Silicon anode. Second, the technology has to scale massively so as not to become a niche; and we’re pleased to take the next step in our unwavering journey to reach global scale with the start of construction at Moses Lake.”
The US Department of Energy’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC) recently awarded Sila 100 million US dollars to finance the expansion in Moses Lake. Part of this capital will also be used to develop the local workforce in coordination with educational institutions. Over the next five years, Sila expects to hire between 100 and 500 full-time employees.