Porsche invests millions in the American battery company

While Dieseljet is a well-established past of the Volkswagen Group, all of its brands remain firmly committed to the future of all-electric vehicles. On May 4, Porsche bought $100 million worth of stock in Group 14 Technologies, a company focused on silicon-carbon lithium-ion batteries that is looking to replace graphite anodes like those used in the 2022 Porsche Taycan. The investment makes Porsche a major investor in the company, and it was a key part of a $400 million funding round among several investors.

Take the lead

This $400 million funding round will allow Group 14 to open a second Battery Active Materials (BAM) facility in the United States. The new facility, along with a joint facility with SK Group in South Korea, will help Group 14 to supply this new anode. It is installed globally in partnership with the Cellforce Group, the manufacturer of Li-ion batteries in which Porsche has a majority stake. According to Porsche, “Beginning in 2024, in Germany, the joint venture intends to produce self-developed high-performance battery cells with a silicon anode for the production of mini-series, sport utility vehicles and high-performance cars. It is expected that Cellforce battery cells will be used in Porsche cars. electric powered with high-performance powertrains.”

Why silicon and carbon anodes?

According to Group 14, using a 20 percent blend of conventional graphite and its SCC55 to create a lithium-ion battery anode can improve life-cycle energy density by 30 percent, while the full blend of silicon-carbon composite improves it by as much as 50 percent. . The use of carbon in the mixture also makes it retain its energy density much longer, and much higher overall, than silicon oxide. The Group 14 claims appear to have been substantiated by third-party data from Farasis Energy, a battery maker that makes bag cells for Daimler and Geely.

Both Porsche and the Group 14 claim that using a silicon-carbon anode would result in a battery that was lighter in weight than a graphite anode, but we couldn’t find any firm numbers to show this. Regardless, any weight reduction would be significant because the graphite used in a lithium-ion battery equates to about 20 percent of its total weight. Another important factor is that SCC55 will not require reprocessing to create the anode compound, it simply changes from graphite to a group 14 mixture. The silicon portion of the mix is ​​also more abundant than graphite while also having 10 times the energy capacity. This means there is no additional cost to convert from graphite – a crystalline form of carbon – to silicon and carbon.

If group 14 claims to contain water as it switches to greater production of the silicon-carbon composite anode, not only will we see increased energy density, much longer life, and lighter weight cells without the increase in the cost of a conventional lithium-ion battery.

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