Commentary: EV Battery Demand Gets a Boost from Europe and Drop in China

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled EV Battery Makers’ Euro Trip Could End in China”. The piece notes the recent surge in EV battery supplier shares (some reaching upwards of 50%) as EV sales in the European market skyrocket due to its recently introduced carbon-emission standards, and the EV sales drop-off in China due in part to slashed subsidies and the Covid-19 shutdowns. Overall, the future of EV demand hangs in the balance as we navigate the uncertain path of global economic recovery.

As investments in the battery manufacturers themselves get a jolt, investors should also consider looking into the technologies that enable EV battery technologies to achieve next-generation capabilities. What makes an EV battery go further, charge faster, last longer and cost less? It’s all in the chemistry.

Advanced silicon materials are taking their place in EV lithium-ion battery anodes, surpassing the limitations of existing materials, including graphite, and achieving key milestones in the areas such as miles per charge and recharge speed. For example, next generation silicon anode batteries are in development that can fast charge over 80 percent of its capacity in five to 10 minutes, without physically damaging the battery – making your next EV road trip much more convenient.  

While these silicon anode batteries have already improved power density upwards of 20 percent, they’re being improved even further with new silicon nanotechnologies and advanced material formulations. These materials, including our cyclohexasilane (CHS) technology, pack higher quantities of silicon atoms into the anode without increasing the risk of swelling using amorphous nanostructures. Materials like CHS are how EV battery manufacturers can ensure you’re not stuck on the side of the road for hours charging your car every 200 miles.

CHS, while it offers tremendous value to the EV battery market, goes far beyond just that application. This technology can also be used for advanced LED solutions, creating quantum dots for UV LED solutions, technical agriculture and more; power electronics, where it can help create high quality, low-cost thin films for silicon carbide wafers that are found in our everyday mobile devices, and much more. As advanced silicon materials find new uses, the potential for this material grows exponentially.

While this Wall Street Journal reporter notes the potential slow down for investments in battery manufacturing, we believe investors should take the time now to look beyond the battery and focus on the materials that make EVs, and many other technologies, capable of achieving their next-generation goals.