Sila, a company founded by former Tesla engineer, buys U.S. factory to produce next-gen silicon-based EV battery materials

05.03.22

[Summary] Electric vehicle battery developer Sila Nanotechnologies Inc announced the purchase of a new factory in Washington state where its plans to churn out advanced batteries for hundreds of thousands of EVs by 2026, the company announced on Tuesday. Sila's co-founder is a former Tesla engineer who led the technical development of the battery technology for the Tesla Roadster.

California-based electric vehicle battery developer Sila Nanotechnologies Inc announced the purchase of a new factory in Washington state where its plans to churn out advanced batteries for hundreds of thousands of EVs by 2026, the company announced on Tuesday.

The 600,000-square-foot factory located in Moses Lake, Washington, will start producing automotive-scale quantities of Sila's silicon-based battery technology by the second half of 2024, with full production underway in early 2025. The facility will also produce advanced batteries for consumer electronics.

The new facility in Washington state will serve Sila's existing joint ventures with automakers, BMW and Daimler, as well as other industry partnerships noy yet publicly named, according to Sila's co-founder and CEO Gene Berdichevsky.

"The U.S has always excelled at innovation. Now we must also excel at manufacturing that innovation, said Berdichevsky. "Sila is delivering proven next-generation anode materials today. Our new Washington state plant builds on that momentum offering the manufacturing capacity to meet the needs of our auto partners on their way to a fully electric future."

Berdichevsky is a former Tesla engineer who led the technical development of the battery technology for the Tesla Roadster, which was the company's first vehicle. According to TechCrunch, he was the seventh employee at Tesla and one of the first to successfully integrate a lithium-ion battery into an internal combustion engine vehicle, which was the Lotus Elise chassis that the Roadster was built on. Tesla produced the original Roadster from 2008 to 2012 before launching the Model S.

After leaving Tesla in 2008, Berdichevsky founded Sila in Aug 2011 with the goal of building lighter and higher energy density lithium-ion batteries to help spur the mass adoption of electric vehicles, as well as for broader use of renewable power sources. For the past decade, Sila has been working on its advanced silicon battery chemistry for EV batteries.

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