A California company is working to develop a battery that is smaller than standard EV batteries and lasts longer.
- Sila has contracts with nearly every major automaker to conduct research for new electric vehicle (EV) batteries that are smaller and more powerful.
- Rather than using graphite like most batteries, Sila batteries use silicon, which is capable of storing more lithium—a vital component that gives the battery power.
- The company aims to develop more effective batteries while also lowering the overall cost of the vehicle.
Why it’s news
Limited range and expense are some of the main factors stopping buyers from making the decision to switch to EVs. If Sila can develop a solution for these problems, EVs could become much more popular.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Sila founder Gene Berdichevsky explained that while current batteries can give consumers a long-range vehicle, the cost is a major deterrent for buyers. His company’s goal is to produce an affordable battery without compromising on the performance.
“By replacing graphite with silicon, every single battery in a vehicle can store 20% to 40% more energy,” Berdichevsky explains. “Then you can use 20% to 40% fewer cells to fill the battery pack. So the higher the performance of the chemistry, the fewer cells you need. The fewer cells you need, the lower cost the battery system can be for the same range.”
The CEO added that using silicon will also increase the overall performance of the vehicle, leading to longer-range EVs.
While Sila may have the science for these new batteries available, it will take time for the more efficient energy source to be available for most consumers. The company has already purchased a 600,000-square-foot building in Washington. By 2025, Berdichevsky expects the company to be in full production.
When completed, the factory will produce enough gigawatt hours to power 2 million cars. By 2025, Berdichevsky says that vehicles will have batteries with silicon.
Berdichevsky anticipates that the demand for EVs will only continue to grow. The only difficulty he foresees is whether or not the supply chain constraints will cause backups.