Last year we were introduced to a very unlikely study model from Mercedes. With the Concept EQG they showed a pure electric version of perhaps the most square car on the market, the G-Class. They promised to actually produce them, but this time they can of course not go back to extremely aerodynamic drop shapes to provide the EV with a large driving range. The only alternative is to make the battery as efficient as possible, and Mercedes turns to American Sila Nanotechnologies for this.
Up to 40% more energy
If that name doesn’t immediately appeal to you, then its founder’s resume may convince you. Gene Berdichevsky was one of the first employees at Tesla at the time, so he knows a thing or two about electric powertrains. Sila Nanotechnologies is currently mainly involved in the development of lithium-silicone batteries, which roughly speaking use an anode made of silicone instead of graphite. That should benefit the storage capacity of the battery, and not even a little bit. For example, at Mercedes they speak of an increase in energy density of 20 to 40 percent, so that you should be able to cram so much more energy into a battery of the same size. And a model like the EQG could probably use that.
Incidentally, the development is not purely based on the electric G-Class, but should eventually flow to the full range of Mercedes-Benz. The collaboration with Sila is therefore one of a longer duration, because Mercedes already invested in the American start-up in 2019. In addition, the engineers in Stuttgart are also continuing to work on electric powertrains that generate less loss and on body shapes that are as aerodynamic as possible, developments that allowed the Vision EQXX to cover more than 1,000 kilometers on a single charge of electricity last month. We don’t see an electric G-Class doing that, but every little bit helps…