This week Mercedes-Benz announced that its partnership with Sila Nanotechnologies, a battery materials company, is about to pay off. That’s because Sila’s next-generation lithium-silicon battery technology is ready for primetime.
Instead of typical battery cells found in EVs, Sila has been working on an all-new silicon anode technology that’s far more energy-dense. In fact, the press release suggests potentially increasing battery capacity by 20-40% in the same size as current battery cells or using smaller cells overall inside vehicles.
And while Mercedes invested in the start-up back in 2019, they’re now taking that partnership to another level with a supply agreement. These next-gen battery cells should debut in the upcoming Mercedes-Benz G-Glass of vehicles, like the exciting 2025 G-Wagon.
Silicon anode battery technology isn’t necessarily new, but getting it stable enough to work over the battery’s life without breaking down has been a challenge. And with this recent announcement, it sounds like Sila solved that problem and is ready to outfit Mercedes fancy G-Wagon with the tech. If so, we can expect other manufacturers to jump on board soon, as more range is certainly welcome.
Sila’s next-generation silicon anodes will be manufactured at a new facility in Washington State and produce anywhere from 100,000-500,000 battery packs (100 kWh/unit) per year when the factory becomes operational in 2024.
Mercedes-Benz says that silicon anode batteries will not compromise safety or performance while increasing range thanks to being more energy-dense. This is an exciting development, and we’ll be on the lookout for more details.