© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Panasonic Corp is pictured at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo
By Paul Lienert
(Reuters) – UK battery startup Nexeon will supply high-energy silicon anode material to Panasonic’s newest U.S. plant starting in 2025, the companies said on Monday.
The use of silicon-rich anodes will enable Panasonic (OTC:) battery cells to store more energy and charge more quickly, the companies said. The greater energy density also gives Panasonic the option of making smaller, lighter packs with similar range to current battery cells.
Abingdon-based Nexeon will supply the material to Panasonic Energy Co’s $4 billion De Soto, Kansas plant, which is slated to open in early 2025.
Among Nexeon’s competitors in developing silicon-rich anodes are two U.S. startups: Group14, based in Woodinville, Washington, and Sila Nanotechnologies, based in Alameda, California.
Founded in 2006, Nexeon has raised more than $260 million and was most recently valued at $350 million, according to investor website PitchBook.com. Among its corporate investors and partners is Korea’s SK Group, which makes batteries and battery materials.
Group14 has raised $650 million and was most recently valued at $3 billion, according to PitchBook. Its corporate investors include German automaker Porsche, as well as SK and BASF. Group14 has a deal to supply silicon anode materials to Porsche affiliate Cellforce.
Sila has raised $935 million and was most recently valued at $3.3 billion, according to PitchBook. Corporate investors include Mercedes-Benz, Siemens, Samsung (KS:) and Chinese battery giant CATL. Mercedes is scheduled to be Sila’s first automotive customer in 2025, starting with the EQG electric SUV.