LG Energy Solutions announced its intention to purchase equity in lithium metal battery developer Sion Power, as part of a US$75M raising by the company. The Sion Power early-stage funding round saw not only LG Energy Solutions invests via its subsidiary LG Technology Ventures, but also from Hillspire LLC operated by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
Sion Power is developing the Liceron battery technology, which uses a lithium metal anode instead of a silicon-carbon base anode as is standard for Li-ion technologies. The improvements to energy density that lithium metal anodes could provide is significant, with Liceron batteries reported by Sio Power to show energy densities of up to 500Wh/kg. Improved energy density and effective vehicle range is important for automotive applications, where range anxiety remains a barrier to entry for some consumers.
Sion Power began the production of Liceron cells for commercial testing in mid-2023, with 18,000 pouch cells targeted for use in EV applications being produced. After initial commercial testing, Sion Power plans to see their cells used in commercially sold electric vehicles by 2027. The use of lithium as the main component in the anode, as well as a key component of the cathode, has the potential to significantly increase lithium demand in automotive applications. However, questions remain about the cost of cell/pack production which could slow the uptake of these technologies.
Source: Project Blue