GDI raises $13.3 million to produce a breakthrough 100% Silicon Li-ion battery anode enabling both high energy and fast charging

New York, NY, 21 September 2022: GDI, a global researcher and manufacturer of advanced, patented 100% silicon anode technology for next generation Li-ion batteries, has completed a major Series A funding round led by EIT InnoEnergy and Helios Climate Ventures, and begun pilot production in Europe, positioning the company to play a major role in battery manufacturing and the energy transition. GDI’s proven, patented technology uses a unique, 100% silicon anode design, which allows for >30% greater energy density for advanced Li-ion batteries, and for safe and reliable fast charging from 10-75% in 15 minutes.

With the technology initially developed in the US, the $13.3 million Series A funding adds to $3M in government funding from the US Army Research Labs, a Phase II SBIR from the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency.

Now, GDI has established European pilot production in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, with 300kWh production capacity expected to be online by the end of 2022, making GDI a world leader in production capacity of 100% silicon anodes. With this fresh injection of funding and planned strategic partnerships, GDI expects to scale production to over 100MWh by Q1 2024.

The significance of 100% silicon

Silicon is unique in that it can store vast amounts of Li-ions at rapid speeds, enabling sub 15-minute charging speeds and EVs with over 500 miles of range. Leading OEMs are only able to use a small amount of silicon (<10%) today, and their technical roadmaps target to use much more. 

GDI is the first company to overcome three key silicon problems that occur when using large amounts of silicon in the anode:

  1. Limited cycle-life from silicon expansion/contraction and delamination,
  2. Safety issues of silicon powder with too much surface area as well as lithium dendrites forming at low temperatures and/or fast charging,
  3. Unscalable or prohibitively expensive manufacturing.

GDI has over 10 US patents and over 25 pending patents globally, in various stages. The company has demonstrated its anode’s superior performance by testing multi-layered pouch cells that can charge from 10-75% state of charge in just 15 minutes over 600 times in a row without plating lithium or failing, without added compression or added lithium as competitors require. Crucially, the technology is scalable, and GDI is making anodes on industrial solar and glass manufacturing equipment that is in use worldwide at volumes of millions of square meters per year.

“The future of Li-ion anodes is silicon. GDI is achieving three critical objectives; full substitution of silicon for graphite/carbon in Li-ion batteries, using a massively scalable domestic manufacturing method, and achieving industrial relevant cost to performance targets.” said Robert Anstey, Founder and CEO of GDI.

“This funding will help GDI move to the forefront of the high-performance battery market, as advanced silicon anodes accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and improve performance of electronic products worldwide with faster charging times, greater energy density and enhanced safety” said Josh Grehan, Principal at Helios Climate Ventures.

“GDI’s ability to seamlessly integrate into existing lithium battery architecture and production lines offer significant cost and time-to-market advantages. But, equally important, the use of a silicon anode reduces the dependency of traditional imported materials like graphite, making the European battery value chain more resilient as well as increasing domestic content,” says Roel van Diepen, Investment Director at EIT InnoEnergy, the innovation engine for sustainable energy supported by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology, a body of the European Union (EU).

About Helios Climate Ventures

Helios Climate Ventures aims to be part of the solution to climate change by quickly developing and scaling breakthrough technology solutions. Helios invests in earlier stage, high impact, high return companies.

About EIT InnoEnergy

EIT InnoEnergy operates at the centre of the energy transition and is the leading innovation engine in sustainable energy, bringing the technology and skills required to accelerate the green deal and Europe’s decarbonisation goals.

Recognised globally as the most active sustainable energy investor and one of the largest climate tech and renewable energy tech investors in 2020, EIT InnoEnergy backs innovations across a range of areas. These include, energy storage, transport and mobility, renewables and sustainable buildings and cities – leveraging its trusted ecosystem of 500+ partners and 27 shareholders. The 380 portfolio companies are on track to generate €72.8 billion in revenue and save 1.1G tons of CO2e annually by 2030.

EIT InnoEnergy is the driving force behind three strategic European initiatives which include the European Battery Alliance (EBA), the European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Centre (EGHAC) and the European Solar Initiative (ESI)

EIT InnoEnergy was established in 2010 and is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an independent EU body set up in 2008 to drive innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe. Today, EIT InnoEnergy has offices across Europe and in Boston, US.