Nexeon, a British developer of silicon materials for lithium-ion batteries, announced an extension of the partnership with Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES), the joint venture between Toyota and Panasonic.
The two partners entered into joint development agreement (JDA) in January and it probably has some potential as they proceed forward to use Nexeon’s silicon material to increase the energy density.
Details were not revealed, but silicon-rich anodes usually allow to significantly increase energy density of the cells (various chemistries).
The problem is to bridle the silicon - which expands, breaks and degrades the electrode - so it would not affect the longevity or charging times. Many manufacturers have already added silicon to the anodes, but as far as we know, the full potential has not been reached yet.
"Silicon materials are important for PPES, and are a key component in achieving new battery designs. To improve battery performance, the partners need to understand how the materials would behave in assembled batteries, so the collaboration between PPES and Nexeon is an ideal partnership to accelerate the development. Each of the partners has expertise in manufacturing as well as research and development.
The JDA allows the partners to respond to opportunities from automotive manufacturers seeking to achieve next generation performance."
It appears that the battery start-ups are attracting large OEMs, as we are getting more and more news about new deals or investments. Everyone seeks for new technologies and maybe even some breakthroughs as it's already clear that there is no other way than electrification.
In the case of Nexeon, the company has announced in October the SKC (part of the SK Group) is also interested in the Nexeon's tech and is considering an investment.