Mercedes is investing in the development of new battery technologies. In anticipation of solid-state batteries, the electric version of the G-Class, the Mercedes EQG, will receive anode batteries with a high proportion of silicon instead of graphite in 2025.
Mercedes is cooperating with Sila, which is developing new battery materials. Sila has developed battery cells in which the anode is made of a high percentage of silicon, which replaces the graphite at the negative pole of the battery.
How does this help? The higher silicon content in the anode increases the energy density of the battery. Mercedes and Sila promise an increase of between 20 and 40% in energy density. Today, a high-performance battery has an energy density of 500 Wh/l, but with the new technology, it could reach 800 Wh/l. However, Sila and Mercedes have not announced how the gravimetric energy density will improve. The Mercedes EQS 580 4Matic battery weighs 692 kg and has a net capacity of 107.8 kWh.
Sila plans to produce silicon for the battery anode using 100% renewable energy at its new plant in Washington. Mercedes hopes to offer an optional version of the EQG with a silicon anode battery by 2025.At the same time, Porsche is also working on the same technology with its partner Customcells.
At the same time, Mercedes is cooperating with Factorial Energy on solid-state batteries. Solid-state batteries feature the electrolyte made from solid material instead of liquid as in today’s batteries.
Factorial Energy is the first company in the world to develop solid-state batteries that have scaled up to 40 Ah. Solid-state batteries promise double the energy density of conventional batteries. This means an increase in range of up to 50%. Currently, the Mercedes EQS 450+ has a WLTP range of 770 km. An increase of 50% means a range of over 1000 km, which would eliminate range anxiety, one of the weaknesses of electric cars. Factorial Energy wants to start testing solid-state batteries as early as this year.