Mercedes-Benz Updates: Mercedes-Benz announced on Tuesday that starting in 2025, it will use a new, very energy-dense battery in its future electric G-Class, solving the challenge of how to power huge electric cars without weighing them down with heavy batteries.Sila claims that its silicon anode material may increase energy density by 20% to 40% over conventional cells, allowing battery packs to last longer in the same physical space. When it comes to powering Mercedes’ blocky, brawny G-Wagen, that extra density will come in useful.Sila was first funded by Mercedes in a $219 million Series E financing in 2019.
The business said earlier this month that it has purchased a 600,000squarefoot plant in Moses Lake, Washington. The plant will begin producing battery materials in late 2024, with full production beginning in early 2025, just in time for the GClass. It should produce enough silicon anode material for 100,000 to 500,000 electric vehicles, depending on how automakers want to use it.Sila’s technology is now accessible in the Whoop 4.0 fitness tracker, a compact device with a battery that is a fraction of what an electric vehicle requires.Sila will be able to perfect its manufacturing technique on a smaller scale, ironing out the problems before scaling up 100 times to reach the levels required by automakers.The company’s Washington plant will produce 10 GWh of battery materials per year in the first phase, but CEO Gene Berdichevsky told TechCrunch earlier this month that production will increase to 150 GWh in the second phase.It won’t be inexpensive to get to that stage. The second phase of the factory, according to Berdichevsky, will cost another $1 billion to $2 billion to put into production. According to Pitch Book, the business has received $933 million in total, including a $590 million round that completed in January 2021.According to Mercedes Benz, the battery is 2040 percent more energy dense than equivalent cells currently available and was developed by start-up Sila Nanotechnologies.Silicon, which Tesla stated it will increase its use of in its batteries by 2020, is a better option than graphite, which comes from China 70% of the time.Mercedes Benz is the first publicly announced automotive customer of Sila Nanotechnologies, a California based battery start-up that revealed in early May that it was investing in a new plant in Washington state that will open in 2024.The premium carmaker owns a small share in the unlisted Sila, which also collaborates with BMW.Last year, Sila, which was created by a former Tesla engineer, raised a further $590 million (approximately Rs. 4,575 crore), bringing its total valuation to $3.3 billion (roughly Rs. 25,593 crore).
• Sila Nanotechnologies uses silicon-based anodes in its batteries.
• Mercedes-Benz owns a minority investment in Sila, which is not publicly traded.
• Sila also collaborates with BMW.