DOE Award $200M To Strengthen U.S. Supply Chain for Advanced Battery Materials Manufacturing

Group14 Technologies, a global manufacturer and supplier of advanced silicon battery technology, has announced that it has been selected as a recipient of the first set of projects funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic battery manufacturing in USA for electric vehicles and the electrical grid. As an awardee of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC), Group14 will receive $100 million for Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing to support surging electric vehicle and energy storage demand.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has also announced it has awarded Sila, a next-generation battery materials company, $100 million to fund the build-out of its 600,000+ square foot facility in Moses Lake, WA and scale manufacturing of its breakthrough silicon anode materials. Sila’s rollout plan, across its 160-acre campus, estimates the production of 20 GWh of capacity by 2026, enough to power 200,000 electric vehicles. Automaker Mercedes-Benz will be the facility’s first commercial customer and has selected Sila’s anode materials to power its electric vehicles, starting with the G-Class series.

In accordance with the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the DOE is deploying its first phase of more than $7 billion of total investments to boost the production of the advanced battery technologies critical to strengthening clean energy industries. MESC’s portfolio of projects will leverage support from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office and will focus on the domestic processing of materials and components currently imported from overseas to increase U.S. economic competitiveness, energy dependence and national security. As part of the investment, the DOE solicited qualified proposals from battery materials manufacturers pursuing the creation of new, retrofitted and expanded domestic factories to produce battery materials.

Group14 launched its first commercial-scale Battery Active Materials factory (BAM-1) in Woodinville, Washington in April 2021. Engineered to produce 120 tons per year of Group14’s flagship silicon-carbon battery technology, SCC55, BAM-1 currently delivers to more than 60 customers representing 90% of worldwide battery production. In order to satisfy the rapidly growing market, Group14 raised $400 million led by Porsche AG to fund its second U.S. BAM factory (BAM-2) to be located in Moses Lake, Washington. BAM-2 is engineered for modular manufacturing, and each module will have an annual production capacity of 2,000 tons per year, equivalent to powering at least 100,000 electric vehicles.

Group14 will leverage the funding from the DOE to build two 2,000-ton-per-year commercial manufacturing modules in BAM-2. With rapid implementation timelines, Group14 expects to hire 500 employees for the construction, commissioning and operation of BAM-2, hiring from the skilled talent pool interested in clean energy jobs in Moses Lake, Washington.

Sila expects to hire and train 150 – 300 technologists at its Moses Lake facility and is working with local high schools, vocational training programs, and community colleges to train and recruit talent for this location. Production lines at the facility will start-up in the second half of 2024, with full start of production to be underway in the first half of 2025.

Sila’s proprietary silicon anode material is a replacement for current graphite material in Li-ion batteries and increases the energy density of batteries by 20%, without compromising cycle life, power, safety or other performance parameters. As automakers transition their fleets to electric, Sila’s drop-in replacement has the ability to boost overall battery performance while lowering battery cost per kWh, which is critical in meeting consumer expectations regarding cost, range, charge time, and acceleration. Sila materials will be crucial in achieving the ATVM Loan Program’s goal of improving the fuel economy of the US fleet through the accelerated adoption of electric vehicles.