Close-up View of a Battery

Nexeon and WACKER Are Working Together on Developing Tomorrow’s Solutions

Better Materials for Better Batteries

Over the last 15 years, our lives have become more mobile – electric cars, smartphones, wearables, e-scooters, tablets, laptops – to name but a few examples. Battery-powered solutions are increasingly the center of attention in society, business and politics. Sustainability, global warming, carbon footprint – these issues have entered popular consciousness, and become the concern of every individual. The transformation will be led by alternative driving systems and storage capacities, fed with renewable energy. To meet these challenges, Nexeon and WACKER are pooling their expertise in pursuit of a joint vision. A vision that builds on global growth in demand for batteries and energy storage capacities. A vision that will succeed thanks to the two company’s unity of purpose.

The British battery specialist Nexeon Ltd. and WACKER began their shared history in 2013 - the iPhone was just celebrating its sixth anniversary; laptops and tablets were snapping at the heels of the good old PC; electric cars, though highly futuristic, were already seen as the technology of the future. The two companies got to know one another, exchanged ideas and forged their first ties. Six years later, in 2019, WACKER invested in Nexeon in order to further consolidate and expand their strategic partnership.

Nexeon Sign on Building

But let us return to the beginnings

The success story is closely linked to Dr. Scott Brown, CEO of Nexeon. In 2006, Nexeon entered the stage with a hugely powerful idea - instead of using graphite as the anode of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, Nexeon used silicon. Silicon turned out to be the ideal alternative, since its storage capacity is far superior to graphite. The resulting battery cells have higher energy densities, thereby extending the battery life of smartphones and the range of electric vehicles. But it is not always easy for a young start-up to succeed in the market with a new idea. Potential customers are looking for attributes like credibility, reliability and production capacity.

Nexeon’s future lay in a clear growth strategy. In 2009, it faced the choice of recruiting staff and building its own pilot plant. But Dr. Brown realized that Nexeon’s path to future success would be difficult and, most of all, expensive if it tried to do everything on its own. Consequently, he set about finding a strong, technology-driven partner, and eventually found what he was looking for in WACKER.

Some years of intensive research followed

With the pilot plant, numerous essential iterations can be performed in order to develop and optimize the product and eventually make it ready for the market. In 2019, the two companies finally concluded their strategic partnership. Those responsible at WACKER are enthusiastic and see huge potential in contributing to the economic and technical development of this ever more socially relevant topic. The two partners are at one regarding their joint interests and goals.

WACKER has stepped up its commitment and increased its stake from two to 25%. Nexeon, with its higher sales volumes primarily thanks to the Asian market, benefits from its partnership with WACKER in that it now has a large-scale production capability and can make the product ready for the market. “We each benefit from the other’s strengths, and thereby compensate for the other’s weaknesses,” is how Dr. Brown summarizes the present situation. At the same time, he sees potential for stepping up cooperation. “We should definitely go faster.” The world and competitors are not standing still. Si anode technology is now on the road maps of every major automotive OEM.

WACKER helps Nexeon close any credibility gap in its readiness for mass production. As Dr. Brown sums it up, “When you have WACKER standing behind you with a 25% stake, that credibility gap evaporates.” He continues, “This deal with WACKER is fantastic because now we know that supplying thousands of metric tons is possible!”

And looking forward? What is the cooperation’s formula for success? Nexeon is young, agile and willing to take risks. WACKER is the experienced player, the calm pole that can create the necessary framework. Or in the words of Dr. Brown,

“WACKER can guide us and put a steadying hand on us.” There’s no better way to sum up the success story.