Project Title: Scale-up Technology for Accelerated Adoption of High-Capacity Silicon Anodes in Mass Market Electric Vehicles

Location: Alameda, CA

Award Amount: $10,000,000

Sila Nanotechnologies Website



With prior ARPA-E support, Sila developed a unique drop-in replacement silicon (Si) dominant composite anode powder that boosts automotive lithium-ion battery (LIB) energy density by 20%+ and enables fast charging. Sila has built a pilot production line operating 24/7 for the last 3 years. Although the current production pathway is profitable for high-value electronic device LIB markets, it is too expensive for mass-market electric vehicles (EVs).

Technical Approach

Our technology is a silicon anode drop-in replacement for graphite that boosts energy density by 20%. With ARPA-E support, Sila aims to develop advanced reactor designs with continuous material processing, on-line diagnostics, improved utilization of precursors, and improved material handling to drastically increase the throughput of its synthesis platform by 1000x.  This proposed project will significantly (1) reduce Si anode costs; (2) improve efficiency and reduce waste in production; (3) reduce engineering and cost risks; and (4) reduce EV battery costs and accelerate the move to clean transportation and renewable energy.


Sila co-founder Gene Berdichevsky led the development of the world’s first production automotive Li-ion battery system (Tesla Roadster). Co-founder Gleb Yushin is Professor of Materials Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has authored 170+ publications that have garnered 32,000+ citations and has 200+ issued and pending patents.  He is a Fellow of the Materials Research Society, Electrochemical Society, and International Society of Electrochemistry. He is also a member of the National Academy of Inventors.

Principal co-Investigators are Dr. Nik Ingle, VP Research, and Dr. Ernest Hasselbrink, VP Equipment Design and Development at Sila. Nik received his doctorate in applied physics from Stanford in 2001. From 2004-2010, he was on the research faculty at the University of British Columbia, and has published more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Ernest received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Stanford in 1999. From 2001-2005, he was an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, and has more than 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals with approximately 4,000 citations.

ARPA-E Mission Alignment

ARPA-E’s mission is to decrease our nation's dependence on foreign energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency across the board, and maintain or reestablish U.S. scientific leadership in the energy sector. Sila’s effort to scale manufacturing of our higher performance materials is aligned with all four of these objectives.


Sila Facility ARPA-E SCALEUP 2019

Figure 1: SILA has acquired a facility with more than 600,000 square feet of space in Moses Lake, WA, to make its silicon-based anode material.

Sila Facility Rendering ARPA-E SCALEUP 2019

Figure 2: 3D Rendering of Moses Lake, WA, facility.