A new breakthrough electric vehicle battery that can charge in around five minutes has been developed by an Israeli company, set to revolutionise the charge times of electric vehicles.
One of the most common criticisms of electric vehicles are the lengthy charge times and the phenomenon of ‘range anxiety’. The latest battery development from StoreDot and Chinese manufacturer Eve Energy looks set to turn the EV world on its head.
StoreDot says that by utilising a new type of lithium-ion battery pack, they have developed an electric vehicle battery system that can charge in the space of just five minutes.
The company has been keen to show the world that its development is no mere prototype, stating that they have released engineering examples directly from their manufacturing line.
They have secured more than $130 million in funding from British Petroleum (BP), Daimler – parent company of Mercedes Benz, Samsung and TDK.
Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot has said that “the number one barrier to the adoption of vehicles is no longer cost, it is range anxiety,” adding that “the bottleneck to extra-fast charging is no longer the battery,” he said.
“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 petrol car, this whole anxiety goes away,” he said.
The company has signed a deal with BP to repurpose thousands of traditional petrol and diesel bowsers with charging stations. Mr Myersdorf says that “BP has 18,200 forecourts and they understand that, 10 years from now, all these stations will be obsolete, if they don’t repurpose them for charging.”
“Batteries are the new oil.”
“A five-minute charging lithium-ion battery was considered to be impossible,” Myersdorf added. “But we are not releasing a lab prototype, we are releasing engineering samples from a mass production line.”
“This demonstrates it is feasible and it’s commercially ready,” the CEO concluded.
In a typical lithium-ion battery pack, graphite is utilised as an electrode that transfers energy while the battery cells are being used, and while they’re being charged.
The traditional arrangement means that these graphite electrodes are unable to transfer enough energy into the pack while being charged with more energy.
Developers of the new battery pack have likened this to a traffic jam within the cell that means it is unable to charge rapidly, even with more energy being introduced.
StoreDot’s new development replaces the graphite with extremely small semiconductors that are able to transfer energy more efficiently. The company says that its battery design can be charged more than 1,000 times while retaining as much as 80% of its capacity.
As it stands, StoreDot is looking to manufacture these nano semiconductors from silicon- a much more affordable alternative for mass-manufacturing.
A report from The Guardian quotes Professor Chao-Yang Wang who heads the Battery and Energy Storage Technology Center at the Pennsylvania State University.
Professor Wang says that “I think such fast-charging batteries will be available to the mass market in three years… they will not be more expensive; in fact, they allow automakers to downsize the onboard battery while still eliminating range anxiety, thereby dramatically cutting down the vehicle battery cost.”
Wang’s team has published research indicating that if the temperature of the battery stays under 60C, lithium ions are able to be transferred faster, and can enable a full charge in less than 10 minutes.
“Finally we are achieving this parity with gasoline vehicles in both cost and convenience. We have the technology for $25,000 electric cars that race like luxury sport cars, have 10-minute rechargeability and are safer than any currently on the market.”