GM and California-based technology company OneD Battery Sciences just announced a new joint research development agreement aimed at leveraging OneD’s silicon nanotechnology in future GM Ultium battery cells. The new tech has the potential to increase battery cell energy density, thus increasing driving range and reducing costs.
“GM designed Ultium to be a supremely flexible platform so we can continuously improve our cells as battery technology advances,” said GM chief technology officer, vice president of GM research and development, and president of GM Ventures, Kent Helfrich. “Our collaboration with OneD will focus on efforts to continue advancements in EV range, performance and cost.”
The tech in development for use with GM’s Ultium battery cells is OneD’s Sinanode platform, which increases the amount of silicon for anode battery cells by fusing silicon nanowires into EV-grade graphite. Silicon can store 10 times more energy than graphite, which means this technology has the potential to create smaller, lighter, and more-efficient battery cells.
The latest announcement also includes the news that GM Ventures, as well as Volta Energy Technologies, participated in OneD’s recent Series C funding, which closed at $25 million. The funds will go towards continuing Sinanode research and development, as well as the advancement of pilot production, and to provide OEMs and battery manufacturers with tech integration for EV manufacturing via licensed partners.
“From day one, OneD has aimed to simplify silicon as the means to a completely new era of EVs. We believe that the winners of the EV race will be those who can effectively add more silicon to the battery cell, in a way that doesn’t disrupt existing supply chains and processes,” said the CEO of OneD Battery Sciences, Vincent Pluvinage. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with General Motors on our shared goal of accelerating mass EV adoption.”
GM previously announced that it’s aiming to achieve an overall EV production capacity of 1 million units annually in North America by 2025. GM is also ramping up its battery cell production with new facilities under the Ultium Cells LLC joint venture with LG Energy, with battery cell production now underway at a new facility in Ohio. Two addition battery plants are under construction, with a fourth planned. Additionally, GM completed construction the new Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center in Michigan earlier this year, which will help to ramp up the development and production of GM’s next-generation Ultium batteries.