Tech company is revolutionizing the EV market with a material that extends battery range and shortens charge times — and Porsche is already on board
The company’s SCC55 anode is a silicon-carbon electrode meant to replace graphite, a material that’s a part of sometimes unstable foreign markets. What’s more, the product is getting great results.
“Our customers that are using our material are able to get their batteries to store up to 50% more energy and are able to get charging in as little as 10 minutes,” Group14 co-founder Rick Costantino told NBC affiliate King 5 News. “And this is fundamentally a performance you cannot achieve with a graphite-based lithium-ion battery.”
“For me, that was a huge moment for the company to get really jazzed about our material,” Costantino said in the story.
Group14 is far from the only company investing in silicon batteries. Panasonic and California-based Sila are working together to outfit the tech giant’s power packs with silicon anodes. Silicon is the second-most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, making it a plentiful material.
SCC55 is designed for solid-state batteries, meaning power packs with a solid electrolyte. In a battery, lithium ions move between the anode and cathode during the charge/discharge process through the electrolyte, which can also be a liquid. Though, experts at Samsung note that the solid type has more storage capacity, and is generally safer.
SCC55 is unique, in part, because of its carbon scaffolding, which helps the silicon maintain its “ideal form,” per its makers.
“Our material was designed to be easy to use, high performing, and manufactured at commercial scale,” Costantino added in a video clip shared by the company.
The Battery Active Material (BAM) manufacturing modules make scaling production a lot easier. The modules can be grouped to make a factory, or dropped into a partner’s facility, all per Group14.
The company is at work in the United States, South Korea, and Germany. Group14 is also taking advantage of a $100 million grant from the U.S. Energy Department to build two plants in Moses Lake, Washington. The total investment is $223 million. At Woodinville, the job roster could grow to 500 as production ramps up, all according to King 5’s report.
“We’re hoping to be a part of a bigger cause in making our planet cleaner, making it safer, and making it sustainable moving into the future,” Costantino said to King 5.
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