E-magy chosen from 98 contestants for its unique silicon that could erase EV ‘range anxiety’.
E-magy, an advanced-materials start-up with its team of 25, consisting of engineers and scientists, has created a revolutionary new, nano-porous silicon for batteries. The game-changing solution has propelled the Dutch start-up – and EIT RawMaterials core partner – to the final of the renowned LG Chem Global Innovation Challenge. E-magy (and just six other finalists) were selected from 98 applicants across 30 countries. They are the only company to become a finalist in the sustainable battery technology category.
E-magy was selected because their unique silicon can meet soaring demand from the automotive industry for improved and sustainable batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). It can also make EVs more desirable for consumers. Using a silicon-dominant approach (whereby, of the battery anode material, 80% or greater is silicon), their solution enables a large energy density increase of over 40% in lithium-ion batteries. This makes the batteries more powerful, longer lasting, faster charging, and cost-efficient.
This will potentially eliminate existing barriers to EV take-up with consumers, such as ‘range anxiety’.* Thus, helping to fast-track an increase in EVs on European roads – a key action in reaching the 2050 net-zero emissions target. The E-magy innovation is timely considering that 70% of new vehicles will be electric in just eight years. This will require around 1 TWh of batteries in the EU per year (2021 McKinsey & Company report).
E-magy’s Achievement in the Global Innovation Challenge
The LG Chem Global Innovation Challenge is focused on scaling promising technologies for speedy commercialisation. These include technologies in sustainable battery materials, circular plastics, renewable hydrogen.
Along with the other finalists, E-magy will pitch their product to LG Chem’s business units, with a view to receiving funding opportunities and further collaborations.
Commenting on E-magy’s achievement, Chief Technology Officer, Axel Schönecker (PhD) thanked EIT RawMaterials for the support with a key project:
We are very pleased to be among the finalists. This is yet another important recognition from a major industry player for our work. Innovative silicon solutions produced sustainably and at efficient costs are the core of what we do. In this, we highly appreciate the support of EIT RawMaterials in the ESiLib project. This project lets us work on reducing our carbon footprint even further and optimising manufacturing costs. E-magy thrives on producing specialty silicon that will make a significant difference at scale for our customers.
Axel Schönecker (PhD), E-magy CTO
The innovation and research project ESiLib has EUR 2.35 million in co-funding by EIT RawMaterials and a total budget of EUR 3.3 million. The project is led by E-magy in partnership with a consortium of five other leading companies. They are working on the next generation of technologically advanced lithium-ion batteries that can yield greater energy densities. The project aims to supply the increased quantities of EV batteries demanded by the automotive industry that meet sustainability and cost criteria.
How does E-magy’s silicon work?
Currently, silicon is only used as an additive in the anodes of batteries – with graphite being the main component. Using very low levels of silicon in this manner only allows for a minor improvement. However, the challenge with using greater volumes of standard silicon is that it will swell, in turn expanding and destroying the battery.
E-magy’s unique silicon tackles this swelling issue – this is the nano-porous structure of the material. And this enables the full replacement of low-capacity graphite with silicon. Thus, enabling the energy density increase of over 40% in the battery.
Yet another benefit is that the solution can also be applied to various other products and devices. Consumers can therefore use them for longer and spend less time waiting for them to power back up.
Batteries will Save the Planet: The Next Step for E-magy’s Silicon
E-magy has a fundamental belief that batteries will help save the planet – and they’re focusing on scaling up their product to make this a reality. In tandem with upscaling production volumes to meet growing demand from the automotive industry, they are also focused on strengthening partnerships and collaborations within the battery ecosystem.
E-magy’s vision is to enable a full transition to electric mobility, which starts with Europe. And they are firmly ‘on the road’ to getting there. EIT RawMaterials is proud to support them on this journey.
* Range anxiety is the fear among consumers that an EV will not have sufficient range to reach their destination.