Sila Nanotechnologies raises $590M to fund battery materials factory

Sila Nanotechnologies, a Silicon Valley battery information fellowship, has invested years developing technology designed to pack more vitality into a cell at a lower costs — an terminate play that has helped it lock in partnerships with Amperex Technology Limited as well as automakers BMW and Daimler.

Now, Sila Nano, flush with a fresh dose of capital that has propagandized its valuation to $ 3.3 billion, is ready to bring its engineering to the masses.

The company, which was founded nearly a decade ago, said Tuesday it has raised $590 million in a Series F fund round led by Coatue with significant involvement of monies and accountings should like to inform T. Rowe Price Identify, Inc. Existing investors 8VC, Bessemer Venture Partners, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Sutter Hill Ventures too was attended the round.

Sila Nano plans to use the funds to hire another 100 parties this year and begin to buildout a factory in North America capable of producing 100 gigawatt-hours of silicon-based anode material, which is used in batteries for the smartphone and automotive industries. While the company hasn’t exposed the site of the factory, it does have a timeline. Sila Nano said it plans to start make at the factory in 2024. Cloths produced using the plant will be in electrical vehicles by 2025, the company said.

” It made eight years and 35,000 iterations to create a new battery chemistry, but that was just step one ,” Sila Nano CEO and co-founder Gene Berdichevsky said in a statement.” For any new technology to make an impact in the real-world, it has to scale, which will cost billions of dollars. We know from our experience building our production line in Alameda that investing in our next weed today will keep us on track to be powering gondolas and hundreds of millions of consumer designs by 2025.”

The tech

A lithium-ion battery contains two electrodes. There’s an anode( negative) on one side and a cathode( positive) on the other. Typically, an electrolyte sits in the middle and acts as the courier, moving ions between the electrodes when accusing and discharging. Graphite is commonly used as the anode in commercial lithium-ion batteries.

Sila Nano “ve developed” a silicon-based anode that replaces graphite in lithium-ion batteries. The critical item is that the material was designed to make the place of graphite in without needing to change the artillery manufacturing process or equipment.

Sila Nano has been focused on silicon anode because the material can collect a lot more lithium ions. Exerting a material that lets you pack in more lithium ions would theoretically allow you to increase the energy density — or the amount of energy that can be stored in a artillery per its magnitude — of the cadre. The aftermath would be a cheaper battery that are in more force in the same space.

The opportunity

It’s a urging produce for automakers attempting to creating more electric vehicles to market. Roughly every global automaker has announced plans or is already producing a brand-new quantity of all-electric and plug-in electrical vehicles, including Ford, GM, Daimler, BMW, Hyundai and Kia. Tesla continues to ramp up production of its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles as a cord of immigrants like Rivian prepare to bring their own EVs to market.

In short: the demand of artilleries is clambering; and automakers are looking for the next-generation tech that will give them a competitive edge.

Battery production baby-sit at about 20 GWh per year in 2010. Sila Nano expects it to jump-start to 2,000 GWh per year by 2030 and 30,000 GWh per year by 2050.

Sila Nano started building the first production line for its battery information in 2018. That first strand is capable of producing the material to supply the equivalent of 50 megawatts of lithium-ion batteries.

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