With air pollution blanketing many global cities and our ever-changing climate, the future is green and battery operated. SICONA, a Sydney based battery technology startup develops next generation battery technology used in the anodes (negative electrodes) of lithium-ion (“Li-ion”) batteries that enable electric-mobility and storage of renewable energy. Sicona’s core business is the commercialisation of an innovative silicon-composite battery anode technology, developed and perfected over the last ten years at the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM). Sicona’s silicon-composite anode technology delivers up to 177% higher capacity than conventional “graphite-only” batteries and its first-generation anode material has already proven to deliver 50% higher cell energy density than current Li-ion batteries.
SICONA is driven on delivering a lower carbon future through the use of its next generation li-ion battery anodes. The company plans on licensing and producing high performance anode materials into the US$125 billion li-ion battery market. With the Tesla’s of the world leading the charge, this market is seeking to gain higher energy density in their batteries which in turn will deliver a reduction in cost and an increase in range.
The electric vehicle battery market is fast growing and in 2018 averaged 2 million electric vehicles (EVs) with an estimated growth to 10 million annual sales by 2025, 28 million per annum by 2035 and 56 million per annum by 2040. Over the next decade, the broader anode market is set to grow at 18% CAGR and the silicon anode market at 43% CAGR due to a massive demand for Li-ion batteries on the basis of providing the world with a more energy efficient alternative than polluting oil-driven vehicles.
However, the new energy revolution is not without some roadblocks. Li-ion battery technology has hit a wall with EVs still costing more than Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles and with less range.
So how do we overcome these problems in the most efficient way? SICONA believe the best way to reduce the cost of EVs is through the use of higher capacity silicon composite anodes resulting in higher volumetric energy density meaning more energy per cell = less cells for the same battery pack capacity and vehicle range.
Chistiaan Jordaan, the CEO of SICONA stated “SICONA has pioneered a simple and robust production process for high performance silicon-composite batter anode material” SICONA plans on commercialising its anode technology using proprietary synthesis techniques. Manufacturing is simple and very cost effective. The technology was developed by the University of Wollongong and has been exclusively licensed to SICONA for commercialisation.
SICONA has already gained strong traction for its strategy, signing a joint development deal with ASX listed Renascor Resources (ASX.RNU) in December 2019 which paves the way for the companies to collaborate on a potential anode plant in Australia, using SICONA’s technology and Renascor’s raw materials supply.
In order to help change the world through lower cost, high performance Li-ion batteries, SICONA is raising seed funding of A$500K-$750K at a pre money valuation of $2.5 million. SICONA also plans on applying for a $0.5 million-$1 million grant under the ‘Accelerating Commercialisation’ grant program run by the Australian Government which will co-fund its planned pilot production plant in H2-2020.