Panasonic and Sila, a next-generation battery materials company, announced the signing of a commercial agreement for Sila’s high-performance nano-composite silicon anode, which is called Titan Silicon.
The Japanese battery manufacturer targets a significant increase in energy density and expects to enable automakers to deliver “unmatched EV performance,” by “dramatically increasing vehicle range” and reducing the charging time.
According to the press release, Sila’s silicon-rich anode materials will be optimized for Panasonic’s next-generation lithium-ion batteries and produced at Sila’s plant in Moses Lake, WA.
Panasonic Energy does not reveal the exact specs of the upcoming battery cells, but its general target by fiscal year FY30/31 is to increase volumetric energy density to 1000 Wh/L. At the same time, the global production of Panasonic EV batteries will increase several times to 200 gigawatt-hours annually.
Sila’s high-performance nano-composite silicon anode, Titan Silicon
In an article from 2022, Shoichiro Watanabe, Panasonic Energy CTO revealed that the company is looking for a 20% increase in energy density (most likely volumetric). Sila says now that through optimization of “the proven performance gains already achieved with Titan Silicon, Panasonic Energy will be able to take a major step toward achieving its goal of 1000 Wh/L.”
According to Sila, the Titan Silico is the first market-proven graphite anode replacement engineered for mass-scale and high performance. It can boost energy density, and thus the range of an EV, by 20% today, with “a development runway” to double those gains, so by 40% from today’s level, as we understand it.
An improvement to the volumetric energy density means that the battery will be smaller. There is no word about the gravimetric energy density to make the battery lighter (it might be lighter through other solutions or simply because the battery will be physically smaller). Another interesting thing is that Panasonic and Sila mention faster charging capability, as low as 10 minutes.
Sila has been developing silicon-dominant composite anode materials for several years now, and in 2022, attracted Mercedes-Benz, which is interested in using more energy-dense batteries in its upcoming all-electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
Let’s recall that Panasonic is working also on a new battery form-factory, the 4680-type cylindrical battery cells, already used by Tesla (in-house). All these solutions might combine into one next-generation battery cell.