STOREDOT’S ELECTRIC-CAR battery is depicted in a computergenerated image..
(photo credit: STOREDOT)
Aiming to transform an electric-vehicle industry hampered by slow charge times and low mileage, the Israeli start-up StoreDot has unveiled a battery that can be fully charged in just five minutes.
The Herzliya-based company made waves last week at Berlin’s CUBE Tech Fair, when the firm demonstrated the ultrafast charging capabilities of its FlashBattery technology on stage.
StoreDot’s new product is a larger rendition of its existing five-minute FlashBattery Power Bank for smartphones, which founder and CEO Doron Myersdorf said is in the process of commercialization.
“It uses similar principles but cheaper materials,” Myersdorf told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. “Nobody has ever shown a battery cell for electric vehicles that can charge in five minutes.”
On stage in Berlin, the company showed the capabilities of one battery cell – of which there would be about 800 in a typical electric vehicle like a Nissan Leaf, Myersdorf explained.
“We only showed one,” he said. “But it’s the proof of the chemistry – the chemistry of the battery works in a five-minute charge. If you have a strong enough charging station you can connect many of these in parallel.
“What we showed was a simulation,” Myersdorf continued.
“The charging of the cell was real, but in the simulation, we showed what would be the mileage of the car if we connected all the cells together.”
He projected that in a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt, the range would be up to about 320 kilometers.
While StoreDot’s FlashBattery technology may have the capability to charge in just five minutes, Myersdorf acknowledged that the external infrastructure necessary to fill that battery does not yet exist.
Charging all such 800 cells in the car so quickly would require a powerful charging station with a 350-kilowatt capacity, he said. Today, most charging stations are at about 20-30 kilowatts, while Tesla’s superchargers can reach about 120 kilowatts, Myersdorf explained.
“But this is on the infrastructure side, outside the car,” he said. “We showed the element inside the car that no one else has.”
Already, according to Myersdorf, there are several companies demonstrating 350-kilowatt charging capabilities, and the Obama administration committed $100 million toward research and development associated with electric- vehicle charging stations.
“We are showing the other component that no one else is showing – what is happening in the car, in terms of the chemistry of the battery, that is capable of accepting this high power charge,” he said.
StoreDot’s FlashBattery employs nanomaterials in combination with organic compounds, which together create what Myersdorf described as “a mesh of material,” or a matrix, capable of accepting lithium ions very quickly, without breaking.
The organic compounds and nanomaterials replace the need for graphite, used in most batteries, and thereby eliminate safety issues experienced by devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note, Myersdorf explained.
As far as the company’s existing smartphone Flash- Battery Power Bank is concerned, Myersdorf said Store- Dot is working with two leading manufacturing sites in Japan and China in order to enable the mass production of the new materials necessary for that product’s commercialization.
This process takes some time, he stressed, because the industry has not experienced much change in the past several decades.
“StoreDot is trying to bring new processes and new materials into this low-tech production,” he said.