Silicon nanowires a ‘breakthrough’ for electric future, says Karl-Thomas Neumann

When a long-time industry veteran throws his weight behind a start-up, it’s worth looking into, writes Megan Lampinen

California-based start-up OneD Battery Sciences is powering ahead with its potentially revolutionary SINANODE platform for electric vehicle (EV) batteries. This collection of technologies is used to produce silicon nanowires fused directly onto the commercial graphite particles found in the anodes of EV batteries. The impact: potentially tripling the energy density of a battery’s anode while halving its cost per kWh. The higher energy density increases battery range while nanowires shorten charging time, both key metrics in EV uptake and acceptance.

Technical challenges have so far limited silicon’s use, with only modest improvements in battery performance realised. The ability to efficiently add larger amounts of silicon could be game-changing.

Over the last three years, graphite suppliers, cell makers, and EV manufacturers have been testing SINANODE with commercial EV-grade graphite in anodes. Most recently, OneD began the construction of its first pilot plant, located in Moses Lake, Washington. This plant will be equipped to enable various makers of EVs to customise and optimise silicon-graphite anodes for use in their upcoming batteries using the SINANODE technology process.

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