Daimler AG has acquired a minority equity stake in the 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 on the Board of Directors of Sila Nano. The investment forms part of the latest round of financing, which was led by Daimler.
“We are on our way to a carbon-free future mobility. While our all-new EQC model enters the markets this year we are already preparing the way for the next generation of powerful battery electric vehicles. Lithium-ion technology is currently the most efficient battery technology available, and still shows plenty of potential for the future. The advancements Sila Nano has made in battery performance are very promising. We are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation, pooling our know-how on further development and fast commercialisation,” Sajjad Khan, Executive Vice President for Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric Mobility, Daimler AG, said.
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.
Wireless Battery Management System
Daimler, together with NorthStar Battery, a world leader in battery technology, has created a tailored version of NorthStar ACE – an award-winning wireless battery management system – called AGM Truck Test. This battery analytics tool is being rolled out to all Daimler’s service centres in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The joint project is the next step in its relationship with Daimler which started in 2016.
NorthStar’s premium pure lead AGM batteries are the prime choice for Daimler trucks in North America and Europe. NorthStar started delivering batteries to Daimler in North America in 2016 and in Europe in 2018 for the new Mercedes-Benz Actros, Antos and Arocs models.
The award winning NorthStar ACE battery management system allows users to retrieve wirelessly real-time and historical performance data. The system was launched for the telecom segment in 2017 where it has gained approval from several large operators globally. It was introduced to the transportation segment in 2018. The first version of AGM Truck Test was released by Daimler in Q1 2019
“We are excited about taking this next step in our relationship with Daimler. With AGM Truck Test, Daimler and their trucks will stay in the absolute forefront of battery monitoring for years to come”, John Semeniuk, President Transportation Division, NorthStar Battery, said.
NorthStar Battery was founded in 2000 and is today a world leader in battery technology and energy storage solutions. It has two divisions: Transportation and Reserve Power. The group is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with manufacturing facilities in USA. NorthStar has global distribution and service centres in North and South America, Asia, Middle East and Europe.