Graphenix secures €20m EU bank boost for silicon anode tech

Graphenix secures €20m EU bank boost for silicon anode tech

Graphenix secures €20m EU bank boost for silicon anode tech 630 480 Energy Storage Journal

January 11, 2024: The European Investment Bank said yesterday it had signed a €20 million ($22 million) loan for Graphenix Development to develop its silicon anode battery technology in Europe.

The EU-owned bank said the venture debt loan for New York-headquartered GDI, which has an R&D center and pilot production facility in the Netherlands, aims to boost the use of silicon battery tech for EVs and reduce dependency on graphite.

Such loans complement financing when no commercial debt can be sought, being cheaper than equity and coming without further diluting the founder’s shares, the bank said.

The agreement is supported by the InvestEU programme, which the bank said aims to trigger more than €372 billion in additional investment in new technologies up to 2027.

GDI plans to produce its silicon anode at industrial scale in Germany — and has selected an industrial site with a glass-coating production facility owned by AGC Glass Europe, a leading tier one supplier to European auto OEMs.

The AGC factory in Lower Saxony will provide coating expertise, advanced manufacturing equipment, and knowhow.

European copper foil company Schlenk SE will supply the facility.

GDI said its technology has the potential to produce silicon anodes that increase lithium ion cell energy density by over 30% compared with today’s graphite anodes — boosting the range of EV batteries.

The company claims its technology can also reduce battery charging time by two thirds, while third-party safety testing has verified that multi-amp hour high-energy lithium ion cells with its 100% silicon anode can pass nail penetration testing.

European Investment Bank VP Ambroise Fayolle said: “To make the green transition work in the transport sector, the development of improved battery technology for all kinds of vehicles is crucial.”