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Daimler Acquires Majority Stake in US Battery Material Specialist Sila Nanotechnologies
Thursday 18 April 2019

18 April 2019 - German automaker Daimler AG has acquired a minority equity stake in US battery material specialist Sila Nanotechnologies Inc. (Sila Nano) as part of its research and development activities.

Founded in 2011, Sila Nano is a leading developer of new battery materials, which outperform existing lithium-ion technologies.

With its latest developments the company sets a new standard for battery performance, harnessing the potential of silicon to enable safe, scalable, high-energy density batteries, which can unleash new possibilities in electrification from consumer devices to electric vehicles and beyond.

Along with the acquisition of the equity stake Daimler will get a seat in the board of directors of Sila Nano. The investment forms part of the latest round of financing, which was led by Daimler.

The battery is a key component of electric vehicles that is not an off-the-shelf product, but an integral part of the vehicle architecture.

The intelligence of the battery lies in a highly complex overall system, which defines the characteristics of the vehicle with respect to performance, range and charging times.

As an integral and important element of Daimler's electrification strategy, competencies for the technological evaluation of materials and cells as well as research and development activities are consistently expanded.

These include the continuous optimization of the current generation of Li-Ion battery systems, the further development of cells bought on the world market and research of the next generation battery systems.

Improvements to traditional Li-Ion battery chemistry have reached their limits and Sila Nano's cross-disciplinary team of scientists and engineers have pushed forward the development of the next generation of battery chemistry, harnessing the power of silicon to be safe, robust, and scalable for mass production.

The company, headquartered in Alameda, California, replaces conventional graphite electrodes entirely with its proprietary silicon-dominant composite materials that enable high energy density and high cycle life, which translates to more powerful, longer-range and enduring sources of power for electric vehicles.

These materials easily drop into existing Li-ion factories, making it possible to deploy efficiently and at scale.

Mercedes-Benz Cars is quickly picking up the pace with regard to the electrification of the automobile. By 2022, the entire Mercedes-Benz Cars product range is set to be electrified.

This means that different electrified alternatives will be available in every segment - from the 48-volt electrical system (EQ Boost), plug-in hybrids (EQ Power) and more than ten all-electric vehicles powered by batteries or fuel cells.

Daimler expects electric models to already make up between 15% and 25% of Mercedes-Benz Cars total sales by 2025 depending on the framework conditions such as the development of the infrastructure, the individual customer preferences and the further development of the particular market-specific legal situation.

Mercedes-Benz Cars is investing around EUR 10bn in the expansion of its product portfolio comprised under the EQ brand.

Furthermore, Daimler is investing more than EUR 1bn in a global battery production network within the worldwide production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

The company purchases the cells on the world market and is instructing the suppliers to produce based on special specifications.

In this way, the company is securing itself the best possible technology.

With the purchase of battery cells for more than EUR 20bn, the company is establishing the preconditions for the consistent change towards an electrical future.

The global battery production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars will in the future consist of nine factories on three continents.

Daimler AG is a supplier of premium cars and is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles over six tons.

Founded in 2011 by Silicon Valley battery engineers and a Georgia Tech Professor of Materials Science, Sila Nano is headquartered in Alameda, California. company investors include 8VC, Amperex Technology Ltd., Bessemer Venture Partners, Chengwei Capital, Daimler, In-Q-Tel, Matrix Partners, Siemens' Next47, Samsung, and Sutter Hill Ventures.
Date Published: 18/04/2019
Target: Sila Nanotechnologies Inc
Country: USA
Deal Size: 170m (USD)
Sector: Motor Vehicles
Type: Corporate acquisition
Status: Closed
Buyer: Daimler AG
Terms of the deal were not disclosed