Porsche invests $400 mln in EV-startup Group14

Group14, an electric car battery company, announced on Wednesday that it had received $400 million from a consortium of investors led by Porsche (PSHG p.DE) of Germany.

Part of the funds will be used to establish a second battery materials facility near Group14’s existing location in Woodinville, Washington, according to Chief Executive Officer Rick Luebbe.

The company’s silicon-carbon anode material, according to Luebbe, is “transformational technology” that will allow EV batteries to charge faster and store more energy than graphite-based batteries.

Graphite anodes are used in the majority of lithium-ion batteries in today’s electric vehicles, with minor amounts coming from Canada and Japan.

Luebbe claims that because Group14’s silicon-carbon anode material allows lithium-ion batteries to store up to 50% more energy, they can deliver the same range as existing graphite-based batteries while using fewer cells, lowering the overall cost and size of the battery pack.

Group14 will supply battery materials to Porsche associate Cellforce, according to Luebbe. It also has a supply agreement with InoBat, a European battery manufacturer. The first electric vehicle batteries using Group14’s anode material will be available in 2023, but Luebbe refuses to name the manufacturer.

ATL, BASF (BASFn.DE), Showa Denko (4004.T), Cabot (CBT.N), and SK Material are among Group14’s prior investments in the electric vehicle battery business. The last company, a part of the SK Group, has a joint venture with Group14 to manufacture anode materials in Korea.

Storedot and Farasis, according to Luebbe, have tested Group14’s anode material. He claims that a Storedot battery using Group14’s silcon-carbide anode material can be charged to 80% capacity in 10 minutes and can be fast charged in as low as five minutes.

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