Former Tesla engineer aims to build next-generation battery materials in the US

Former Tesla engineer aims to build next-generation battery materials in the US

Automaker Daimler AG has a minority equity stake in unlisted Sila, which is also working with BMW. Sila raised an additional $590 million last year, boosting its valuation to an estimated $3.3 billion.

A battery startup established by a previous Tesla engineer reported on Tuesday plans for U.S.- based mass production of next- generation materials pointed toward reducing expenses, helping driving reaches and decreasing the business’ reliance on China. Sila Nanotechnologies will put resources into the low a huge number of dollars in another plant in Washington state because of open in 2024, Sila CEO Gene Berdichevsky told Reuters. He expressed that since Tesla was established in 2003, the cost of electric vehicle batteries had leveled as opposed to falling however much that expected, so new materials could assist with bringing the expense down to consumers.

Berdichevsky said Sila would use the new plant in the city of Moses Lake to make silicon-based anode materials that can store 20% more energy than anodes that typically use graphite, 70% of which comes from China.

Graphite is on the U.S. critical minerals list but silicon is not, as the Biden administration aims to reduce reliance on China in the battery supply chain.

He said its new facility aims to deliver annual silicon-based anode production sufficient to power 10 gigawatt hours of batteries in 100,000 electric vehicles, with a goal to increase the capacity to power 2 million electric vehicles a year.

Sila runs a test production facility at its headquarters in Alameda, California that can produce battery materials for about 1,000 cars a year, though it is instead making materials used in fitness watches.

Berdichevsky said Sila was trying to address the challenges of scaling up production to meet the needs of carmakers.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a plan to use silicon-based anode in its new batteries at its Battery Day event in 2020 but it is not clear whether it is using the breakthrough technology. Tesla did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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