Mercedes-Benz‘s upcoming all-electric G-Class will use new, energy-dense electric vehicle battery technology that should help keep the off-roader’s weight down.
The German automaker has confirmed the electric G-Class will be optionally available with silicon-based electric vehicle (EV) battery technology manufactured by US startup Sila Nanotechnologies from 2025.
The company’s high-silicon anode material is claimed to have a 20 to 40 per cent increase in energy density compared to commercially available battery cells with a comparable format, with a volumetric energy density of more than 800Wh/L.
For context, the current Chinese-built Tesla Model 3 with its lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack has a volumetric energy density of 359Wh/L.
In simpler terms, this silicon-based EV battery will allow Mercedes-Benz to store more energy in the same space, which in turn increases the range of its EVs.
At this stage both companies are aiming for a mid-decade reveal for an extended-range version of the electric G-Class using the silicon-based battery technology.
The batteries will be produced at Sila’s production plant in the US state of Washington, which is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.
“Sila has come a long way since we established our strategic partnership in 2019,” said Mercedes-Benz Group AG member of the board of management Markus Schäfer.
“We’re glad that in Sila we have a leading partner who will help us power our future generation of electric luxury vehicles with their highly innovative anode technology.”
“Delivering such a high energy density is a true game changer and allows us to think in completely new directions when developing future electric cars.”
“Our partnership with Sila is another essential step on our way to build the most desirable electric luxury cars.”
Mercedes-Benz isn’t the first automaker to be investing in a company that’s working on silicon-based EV battery technology.
Volvo announced in April 2022 it’s investing in an Israeli startup called StoreDot which is working on a silicon-based battery that can take on a claimed 160km of range in five minutes.
Mercedes-Benz revealed the “near-production” Concept EQG in September 2021, with revolutionary looks and the promise of enough off-road ability to match petrol-powered G-Wagens.
Under the skin, the Concept EQG has four electric motors making undisclosed outputs.
Up front, it has fully independent suspension, while the rear has a new solid axle adapted to house the car’s electric motors.
Although low-down torque is already a strength of electric motors, Mercedes-Benz has fitted a manually-switchable two-speed transmission for what is likely to be an electric take on low-range.
To make sure its can survive off-road, Mercedes-Benz says the electric G-Class will be tested on the Schöckl mountain in Graz, Austria, which is near where the petrol model is currently built.
Looks-wise, the Concept EQG retains the current G-Class’s upright profile and blocky detailing, but has a square spare wheel cover on the back.