P icture this: It takes four hours to charge your electric scooter to take you 70 km. So how about we cut that back to just 5 minutes? Interested? This technology can also charge your electric vehicle and mobile stuff too. Israel’s StoreDot and investor BP are making this real, because no one wants to wait.
As StoreDot's Doron Myersdorf says “ this shows the world that we can break the barrier to fast charging. That what was impossible is in fact, possible”. The company hopes to start selling their 5 minute chargers for mobile phones in 2020.
The firm has its base in Herzilya and they want to start selling their scooter batteries in 2021. But they want to prove the next phase of their concept by fitting out a Mercedes-Benz for a 500km drive. This will show that the 5 minute recharge is real. They need to show it can stay cool and it will need about 10x the number of batteries.
One of the main issues affecting the uptake of electric vehicles (EV’s) is “range anxiety”. This being where people worry they may not have enough charge to reach a destination. A bit like what we face now with our mobile phones not having enough charge to last out the day. So ultra-fast charging can put these worries behind us.
There are others in the race to see who can come up with the best solution. One contender, Wien Energie GmbH, says they can charge the batteries of some cars in just 10 minutes. So far it appears that StoreDot might have an edge. And this is possibly why BP chose to invest $USD20M in them. BP believes that ultra-fast charging will keep customers coming back to their energy stations.
EV’s will make up over half of new car sales by 2040, according to Bloomberg NEF. This is due to the improvements in range and battery life and lower prices. To establish the global charging infrastructure will need a massive USD$50 billion.
StoreDot’s technology still has some issues to sort out. One is the need to establish a better supply chain for the raw materials that they need for the batteries. Others surround filling station design, end-of-life disposal and where the batteries will be made.
Unlike Tesla batteries, StoreDot’s have less lithium, and less combustible and also allow a faster charge. The main materials they use are tin and germanium. Another concern is the affect that ultra-fast charging may have on long term battery degradation. As this kind of rapid charging can have a detrimental effect.
StoreDot’s Doron Myersdorf says that they add special compounds to prevent this. We will have to wait and see the final outcome of further trials. At this time we dont know what the cost of the batteries will be. But if the price is good and it lives up to expectations, they can likely expect uptake to be high.