Group14 awarded $100M by Dept. of Energy as part of effort to expand U.S. battery manufacturing

Group14 launched its first commercial-scale Battery Active Materials factory (BAM-1) in Woodinville, Wash., in April 2021. (Group14 Photo)

Group14 Technologies, the Woodinville, Wash.-based maker of advanced silicon battery technology, has been awarded $100 million as part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic battery manufacturing for electric vehicles and the electrical grid.

The startup is receiving the funds from the Department of Energy’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains. The agency is deploying the first phase of more than $7 billion of total investments to boost the production of battery technologies needed to strengthen clean energy industries, according to a news release Wednesday.

Group14, which launched in 2015, has developed a silicon-carbon composite material that can replace the graphite anodes in lithium-ion batteries, improving their performance by 50% and providing faster recharging times.

Group14 will use the funding to build two 2,000-ton-per-year commercial manufacturing modules in a second manufacturing facility it is building in Eastern Washington’s Moses Lake. The company expects to hire 500 employees for the construction, commissioning and operation of the facility.

Alameda, Calif.-based Sila Nanotechnologies also received $100 million from DOE to build a 600,000-square-foot facility of its own in Moses Lake to manufacture its silicon anode materials. The company plans to hire 150 to 300 people. Automaker Mercedes-Benz will be the facility’s first commercial customer.

Group14 launched its first commercial-scale Battery Active Materials factory in Woodinville in April 2021.

“With our growing footprint in the Pacific Northwest, we’re answering the call for ‘all-American’ batteries and remain steadfastly committed to building out a fully end-to-end domestic battery supply chain to help the U.S. stay ahead in the electrification race,” Rick Luebbe, CEO and co-founder of Group14, said in a statement.

Group14 raised $400 million in May in a funding round led by Porsche AG, which plans to use the company’s technology in some of its electric vehicles. The company has raised $441 million to date.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add information about Sila Nanotechnologies.

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