Securing low-expansion and high-performance silicon anode material to accelerate the development and production of next-gen LIBs with longer cycle life
Osaka, Japan – Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., a Panasonic Group Company, today announced the signing of an agreement to purchase silicon anode material for automotive batteries from U.K.-based Nexeon Limited (“Nexeon”; Oxfordshire, U.K.) to boost the performance of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). Nexeon’s silicon anode material will be used for lithium-ion batteries to be manufactured at a new facility in De Soto, Kansas, U.S., from 2025.
In line with the global shift to EVs, Panasonic Energy has been working to meet demand by expanding production of automotive batteries and increasing the energy density of battery cells to give EVs a longer range. In general, realizing higher energy density of battery cells requires improving capacity of not only cathodes but also anodes. Silicon materials are considered the key to boosting battery performance because their theoretical capacity is approximately 10 times than that of graphite, which is currently commonly used as an anode material. However, there is a hurdle to increasing the percentage of silicon in anodes as problems arise from its expansion characteristics when the cells are charged, resulting in battery capacity fade.
Panasonic Energy, an industry leader, has actively developed technologies to harness silicon based materials and become the first company to succeed in mass production of silicon-doped EV batteries. Panasonic Energy will be among the first in the industry to use Nexeon’s new high-capacity silicon capable of containing expansion under charging to boost battery performance. The Company will continue to increase the percentage of silicon with the aim of attaining the target of improving the volumetric energy density 5% by 2025 and 25% by 2030 as stated in the Panasonic Energy’s business strategy.
Panasonic Energy remains committed to leading the growth of the lithium-ion battery industry by leveraging its outstanding technology and depth of experience and will build a strong partnership with Nexeon to fulfill its mission of realizing a society in which the pursuit of happiness and a sustainable environment are harmonized.
Characteristics of Nexeon’s next-generation silicon material:
- The proprietary structure contains expansion during battery charging, which was a problem posed by silicon materials, and increases the anode’s capacity while maintaining excellent cycle properties.
- The potential to significantly increase cell energy density.