Sila announces new battery materials plant to support production of up to 500,000 electric vehicles

Sila Nanotechnologies has announced that it will invest a few hundred million dollars in a new battery materials plant in Washington State to support the production of up to 500,000 electric vehicles.

The company described the project at Moses Lake in a new press release today:

In an effort to ensure that America maintains global leadership in the global transition to the new era of energy storage, Sila, a next-generation battery materials company, today announced the purchase of a facility of over 600,000 square feet of space located in Moses Lake, WA will be used to manufacture Sila’s revolutionary lithium-ion anode materials at automotive volumes and quality. Powered by hydroelectricity, the facility is located on 160 acres of land close to railroad tracks for convenient and efficient shipping.

Sila Nanotechnologies was co-founded by current CEO Gene Berdichevsky.

Berdichevsky was an early battery technology manager at Tesla for the original Roadster. He has since dedicated his career to working on next-generation battery technology.

At Sila, the focus is on a silicon-based anode that allows for impressive energy density. The company’s battery already powers the popular WHOOP 4.0 fitness tracker, but now they’re looking to break into the automotive industry with this new plant.

Berdichevsky commented on the announcement:

The United States has always excelled in innovation. Now, we must also excel in the manufacture of this innovation. Sila provides proven next-generation anode materials today. Our new facility in Washington State builds on this momentum by providing the manufacturing capacity needed to meet the needs of our automotive partners on the road to an all-electric future. Since our inception, we have strived to meet automotive quality and scale standards to ensure longer range, faster charging times and lower battery cost. With this scale, we have a critical building block to realize the full potential of next-generation materials at the volumes required to have global impact.

The anode output from the new plant will be sufficient to power “10 GWh of cells when used as a full graphite replacement, or up to 50 GWh of cells when used as a partial replacement”. The company says this is enough material to power the batteries of “up to 100,000 to 500,000 premium electric vehicles and 500 million cell phones per year”.

Sila Nanotechnologies says it aims to have production lines operational in the second half of 2024 and “a full start of production underway in the first half of 2025”. They envision potential project extensions to support production of “150 GWh of cells when used as a full graphite replacement or 750 GWh as a partial replacement – ​​enough to power two to 10 million electric vehicles per year.”

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