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Welcome to the Era of Supercharged Lithium-Silicon Batteries

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News Article

Daniel Oberhaus
February 5, 2020

Originally posted on
WIRED

Gene Berdichevsky believes in batteries. As employee number seven at Tesla, he helmed the team that designed the lithium-ion battery pack for the company’s first car, the Roadster, which convinced the world to take electric vehicles seriously. A decade later, EVs can hold their own against your average gas guzzler, but there’s still a large trade-off between the shelf life of their batteries and the amount of energy packed into them. If we want to totally electrify our roads, Berdichevsky realized, it would require a fundamentally different approach.

In 2011, Berdichevsky founded Sila Nanotechnologies to build a better battery. His secret ingredient is nanoengineered particles of silicon, which can supercharge lithium-ion cells when they’re used as the battery’s negative electrode, or anode. Today, Sila is one of a handful of companies racing to bring lithium-silicon batteries out of the lab and into the real world, where they promise to open new frontiers of form and function in electronic devices ranging from earbuds to cars.

“The real problem is not ‘Can we get a battery that is powerful?’ It’s ‘Can we make that battery cheap enough to build trillions of them?’” says Alexander Girau, Advano’s founder and CEO. With this scrap-to-anode pipeline, Girau believes he has a solution.

(Read the full article on WIRED)