A consortium including three of the world’s biggest carmakers has gifted a Chicago start-up $4 million in a bid to improve battery technology for electric vehicles.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has also chipped in to award SiNode Systems the cash, which has already been allocated to new staff who aim to get the firm’s advanced anode technology commercialized in 30 months.
Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, all based in Detroit, are joining the quest for more advanced, cheaper EV batteries that will last longer.
They have approached SiNode on the back of its anode technology, which uses a composite of silicon and graphene in a layered structure to achieve greater capacity.
Working in collaboration with researchers at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory, SiNode has customized its material to deliver higher cell level energy density.
Where current graphite-based anodes offer a 372 mAh/g capacity, SiNode’s can achieve between 1,000 mAh/g and 2,500 mAh/g, claims the firm.
Nano-engineered porosity has also been introduced to the graphene layers, allowing rapid ionic diffusion through the structure for faster charging.