Mercedes-Benz and Sila partnership develops higher density electric vehicle (EV) battery technology to increase range

Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will work with Sila, a next-generation battery materials company, to incorporate Sila’s silicon anode chemistry in batteries which are optionally available for the first time in the upcoming electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

The innovative high-silicon anode material will increase the energy density of batteries without compromising safety or performance. Sila’s technology enables a 20-40 percent increase in energy density compared to today’s commercially available cells with a comparable format, reaching more than 800Wh/l at cell level. 

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This enables Mercedes-Benz to store more energy in the same space, therefore, increasing the range of its future electric vehicles (EVs) by a significant amount. Mercedes is helping to squash range anxiety and earlier this year the brand’s future model, the sleek-looking VISION EQXX, was test-driven over more than 620 miles (1,000km) on a single battery charge.

The advanced silicon anode materials will be manufactured using 100 percent renewable energy in Sila’s new Washington state facility, making Mercedes-Benz the factory’s first publicly announced automotive customer. The companies are targeting mid-decade for a range-extended-version of the electric G-Class to be equipped with the new battery technology option.

Mercedes-Benz invested in Sila in 2019 as part of the company’s research and development of advanced batteries for the automaker’s future electric vehicles. The supply agreement announced today is the natural next step for the partnership and marks another important milestone in Mercedes-Benz’s ambition to become the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles.

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer, responsible for Development and Procurement, said “Sila has come a long way since we established our strategic partnership in 2019. They have been proving their ability to not only deliver scientific innovation at the highest level but also their ability to manufacture high-quality material. 

“We’re glad that in Sila we have a leading partner who will help us power our future generation of electric luxury vehicles with their highly innovative anode technology. 

“Delivering such a high energy density is a true game-changer and allows us to think in completely new directions when developing future electric cars. Our partnership with Sila is another essential step on our way to build the most desirable electric luxury cars.” 

Gene Berdichevsky, Sila CEO and co-founder, said: “We’re focused on delivering materials that are cost-efficient and capable of delivering on the promise of electric vehicles, working to ensure longer range energy, improved charge times, and lowering battery cost per kWh. 

“To realise the potential of next-generation materials, scale-up is a pivotal part of execution and we’ve been building towards automotive quality standards and scale since our start. With our new plant in Washington, we’re ensuring we can meet the requirements of our auto partners like Mercedes-Benz as they transition to a fully electric future.” 

Sila works to enhance all aspects of battery performance, produce quality-controlled silicon anode materials at scale and support implementation to ensure customers achieve their goals and safety requirements for shipping products. 

After 10 years of research and development and 55,000 iterations, the Sila team was the first to industrialise and make commercially available a next-generation lithium-ion chemistry with dramatically higher energy density. This expertise results in a technology that will be able to power future Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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