Porsche AG acquires stake in Group14 Technologies, an Innovative Producer of Battery Materials

Published on: 10 May 2022 12:10 PM
by KnowESG

Porsche is advancing its efforts to develop and manufacture high-performance battery cells by purchasing shares in Group14 Technologies, a developer of advanced silicon-carbon technology for lithium-ion batteries based in the United States.

Porsche is raising $100 million as the lead investor in a Series C investment round in which various corporations are contributing a total of $400 million (about 328 million euros).

Group14 Technologies, based in Woodinville, Washington, plans to use the additional funds to expand its anode material production for lithium-ion batteries globally.

Before the end of the year, Group14 will begin construction on a new factory in the United States to produce Battery Active Materials (BAM). In the future, Group14 will also supply the Tübingen-based Cellforce Group, in which Porsche owns a majority position.

Porsche and Customcells Holding launched Cellforce in 2021. The joint venture plans to manufacture self-developed high-performance battery cells with silicon anodes for small series production, motorsport, and high-performance automobiles in Germany starting in 2024.

The Cellforce battery cells are planned to be used in Porsche automobiles with high-performance powertrains that are driven by electricity.

In a market where demand is continually increasing, Cellforce's collaboration with Group14 provides access to high-quality future technology that will make the next generation of battery cells far more efficient than the lithium-ion batteries currently in use.

Silicon is used as the anode material in the new cells' chemistry. When compared to existing series-produced batteries, this can dramatically boost power density. As a result, future batteries will be able to store more energy within the same dimensions and hence have a larger range than existing batteries. The new chemical lowers the battery's internal resistance, allowing it to absorb more energy during recovery and charge faster.

Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Executive Board for Finance and IT at Porsche AG, said:

"The battery cell is the combustion chamber of the future. Our goal is to be a leading company in the global competition for the most powerful battery cell. It is not without pride that we are leading this broad-based funding round. It reflects that, through our venture capital unit Porsche Ventures, we have now gained a deep understanding of the world of venture capital.”

In the state of Washington, Group14 runs a commercial-scale production facility for BAM. The technique has already been validated in electric vehicle batteries and ultra-fast charging applications.

In the year 2022, another facility will open in South Korea. Several additional firms are participating in the current investment round, ranging from worldwide financial investors to strategic investors in the battery industry (OMERS Capital Markets, Decarbonization Partners, Riverstone Holdings LLC, Vsquared Ventures, Moore Strategic Ventures, and others).

Source: Porsche