Australian battery materials upstart sets up shop in US, promises longer range electric cars

Australian battery innovator Sicona has announced that it is building a silicon-carbon anode materials production plant in the US, in a first step towards its goal of leading global production of the key ingredients needed to make faster-charging and longer-range electric vehicles.

Spun out of the University of Wollongong[1], and still based in the NSW coastal city, Sicona Battery Technologies is commercialising a discovery by UoW electromaterials researchers who developed a new form of highly conductive and processable graphene.

The company says the silicon-carbon anode materials it produces can supercharge lithium-ion batteries, delivering a 20%-plus increase in energy density over conventional graphite-only li-ion cells and reducing charge times by more than 40%.

Further, its technology does not rely on expensive and emissions intensive supply chains such as silane gas, thus lowering the cost of its “drop-in” material while offering minimal disruptive reengineering of existing battery production facilities.

The company is also an alumnus of Australia’s leading climate tech startup accelerator, EnergyLab, through which it raised $22 million[2] in 2023 – money that is being used to further its development plans both in Australia and the US. 

According to Danny Kennedy[3] – the US-based Australian-American CEO of New Energy Nexus which partners with EnergyLab to help Australian start-ups gain global exposure – Sicona is a leader in Australian battery innovation that “should be backed like our future economy depends on it.”

Sicona said on Tuesday that its move into the US battery component market starts with the development of a production plant in the south-east, “near the geographic heart of the growing US battery and electric vehicle manufacturing hub.”

The company says it has completed front-end engineering design studies with global engineering and construction firm Bechtel and is going ahead with the phased development of a 6,700 tonne per annum silicon-carbon anode materials production plant. 

“This development will make Sicona the largest producer of silicon-carbon (SiC) anode materials in the United States surpassing the approximately 5,800 tpa total silicon-carbon plants under construction and development in the north-western United States,” a statement says. 

“By the early 2030s, Sicona plans to ultimately expand its US production to a total output of 26,500 tpa, enough silicon-carbon anode materials to power more than 3.25m American electric vehicles (EVs).”

Meanwhile, the company says it is supplying product samples and holding offtake discussions with cornerstone customers in the US market.

“Sicona’s vision is to be the largest silicon-carbon battery materials producer in the world and today’s announcement is the first major step towards the realisation of that goal,” said CEO and cofounder Christiaan Jordaan.

“We believe by going mass scale with our technology we can have maximum impact on increasing the adoption of electric vehicles.

“This is because our product has a real impact on the charge time of an electric vehicle or how far you can drive your EV before recharging, which are two major factors holding people back from buying an EV.

“We are proud to be an Australian company leading the charge on the global stage.”


  1. ^ out of the University of Wollongong (
  2. ^ EnergyLab, through which it raised $22 million (
  3. ^ to Danny Kennedy (

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