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Porsche on Wednesday announced a $100 million investment in Washington State-based battery firm Group 14 Technologies. The automaker aims to use investments like this to become a leader in battery technology.
Porsche is leading Group 14 Technologies’ Series C funding round, in which multiple companies are investing a total of $400 million, the automaker said in a press release.
Based in Woodinville, Washington, Group 14 Technologies has developed a silicon anode for lithium-ion battery cells, which provides greater energy density than conventional lithium-ion chemistry, Porsche claims. That means more energy can be stored in a given volume, increasing EV range without increasing the size of the battery pack.
Rendering of Porsche-backed Cellforce battery factory
Group 14 Technologies intends to use the capital from the ongoing funding round to scale up production of its silicon anode material, including opening a new factory in the U.S. The company will eventually supply Cellforce Group, a joint venture of Porsche and Customcells Holding, which plans to manufacture battery cells for Porsche EVs in Tübingen, Germany, beginning in 2024.
“The battery cell is the combustion chamber of the future,” Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of Porsche’s executive board, said in a statement. “Our goal is to be a leading company within the global competition for the most powerful battery cell.”
Just as the engines in its current sports cars are a key differentiator, Porsche aims to develop high-performance battery cells in-house to maintain control of the technology. Porsche estimates that by 2030 more than 80% of its sales will be EVs. The remainder will be made up by the 911, which will be Porsche’s last holdout for the internal-combustion engine.