Automaker Porsche has led the SK Materials, Amperex, Showa Denko Cabot and BASF-backed EV battery technology provider’s fresh round to help advance the EV industry.

Carmaker Porsche provided $100m for Group14, a US-based developer of a silicon-carbon system for use in lithium-silicon batteries, in a move signalling the automotive industry’s ongoing shift toward electric vehicles (EVs).

Porsche led the $400m series C round, which included Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, Decarbonization Partners, Riverstone, Vsquared Ventures and Moore Strategic Ventures as well as unnamed other institutional investors.

Group14’s SCC55 material enables batteries to store 50% more energy when compared with conventional graphite anodes, according to the company. Porsche is likely attracted by a more compact and potent battery alternative developed through Group14’s technology.

Porsche itself has had EV and hybrid car offerings for several years now, including its Taycan model, the sale of which is now reportedly outpacing the firm’s flagship 911 range.

Founded in 2015 in the state of Washington, Group14 is building a silicon-carbon powder system designed to substitute or improve graphite anodes that are widely used in EV batteries. The company additionally aims to electrify other industries encompassing medical, consumer and commercial fields.

“The battery cell is the combustion chamber of the future. Our goal is to be a leading company within the global competition for the most powerful battery cell,” said Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of the executive board and member of the executive board for finance and IT at Porsche.

“It is not without pride that we are leading this broad-based funding round. It reflects that, through our venture capital unit Porsche Ventures, we have now gained a deep understanding of the world of venture capital.”

Group14 already counts the backing of other corporates in the past, having raised $17m in a late 2020 series B round led by industrial gas provider SK Materials and backed by OVP Venture Partners.

Lithium-ion battery producer Amperex, advanced materials manufacturer Showa Denko and chemicals groups Cabot and BASF had taken part in an $18m round the previous year. OVP Venture Partners also participated in that round while BASF was represented by its BASF Ventures unit.

Image courtesy of Group14 Technologies