StoreDot batteries pass five-minute electric-vehicle hurdle

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Israeli startup StoreDot's Fast-charge battery. Photo: Courtesy of StoreDot.

Extra-fast-charging car batteries are commercially ready; now Israeli startup StoreDot is working with BP to repurpose gas stations as charging stations.

BY BRIAN BLUM

 Israeli startup StoreDot announced this week that it has produced 1,000 of its XFC extra-fast-charging electric car batteries.

StoreDot’s proprietary lithium-ion batteries can be charged to full capacity in just five minutes, compared with 30 to 40 minutes for other electric-car batteries, including those from high-flying companies such as Tesla.

If StoreDot’s XFC batteries can be mass-produced over the course of the next three years, as professor Chao-Yang Wang of the Battery and Energy Storage Technology Center at Pennsylvania State University predicts, it could be game over for the internal combustion engine.

“The No. 1 barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles is no longer cost,” explained StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf. “It is range anxiety. You’re either afraid that you’re going to get stuck on the highway or you’re going to need to sit in a charging station for two hours. But if the experience of the driver is exactly like fueling [a gasoline car], this whole anxiety goes away.”

At the 2019 Ecomotion conference in Tel Aviv, StoreDot showed off a live five-minute recharge of a motorcycle. And last year, StoreDot revealed that it had adopted its fast-charging battery technology to work with autonomous drones.

“We are releasing engineering samples from a mass production line,” Myersdorf told The Guardian newspaper. “This demonstrates it is feasible, and it’s commercially ready.”

StoreDot replaces the graphite used in traditional lithium-ion batteries with germanium-based nanoparticles into which ions can pass quickly and more easily. StoreDot plans to transition to silicon, which is less expensive than germanium, next year to bring the cost equal to lithium-ion batteries.

StoreDot is working with BP, the British petroleum company, on repurposing thousands of existing gasoline service stations into charging stations for the batteries.

Wang notes that for fast charging to be economically viable, it must be repeatable at least 500 times without degrading the battery. Myersdorf said StoreDot’s batteries can be recharged for 1,000 cycles while retaining 80 percent of their original capacity.

The sample battery cells, which will now be distributed to electric vehicle manufacturers for testing, were produced by StoreDot’s strategic partner in China, EVE Energy. The batteries are designed to be produced on existing lithium-ion production lines, which should further keep the price down.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Herzliya, StoreDot has raised $130 million from investors including Daimler AG, TDK Corporation and Samsung Ventures, as well as BP Ventures.

“We’re on the cusp of achieving a revolution in the electric vehicle charging experience that will remove the critical barrier to mass adoption,” said Myersdorf.

This article first appeared in Israel21c.

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