Established in 2012, Israeli firm StoreDot has been focusing on the development of fast-charging Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EV). After years of hard work, it finally announced this January that the latest version of its traction battery has entered pilot production. StoreDot’s battery technology, which has been demonstrated to have a charging time of just five minutes, is expected to be recognized as a landmark breakthrough in the development of batteries and EVs.
By making charging an EV as fast as refueling a gasoline vehicle, StoreDot has an opportunity to eliminate “charging anxiety”. EV drivers often experience a long queue at the charging station and another long wait at the charging pile. The significant amount of time spent on getting the traction battery system fully charged has been a huge barrier to the adoption of EVs by consumers.
StoreDot also revealed that the second-generation engineering sample of its fast-charging battery is now being manufactured on a pilot production line set up by its strategic partner EVE Energy. Based in China, EVE is a supplier of a wide range of Li-ion batteries. This latest achievement suggests that the large-scale commercialization of StoreDot’s technology is just around the corner.
StoreDot began working on a fast charging technology for traction batteries in 2019. Then in 2020, its first-generation engineering sample successfully demonstrated full charge within five minutes for an e-scooter, an e-bike, a drone, and a few other types of consumer electronics.
StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf said that the breakthrough in fast charging was made possible with the adoption of a new material for the anode. Conventional Li-ion batteries use graphite for the anode, but StoreDot has replaced it with a material composed of nanoscale metalloids. This material allows for the faster movement of lithium lions, thereby hastening the charging process. StoreDot also claims that its battery features improvements that contribute to a noticeable increase in energy density.
Currently, the anode material of StoreDot’s traction battery contains germanium. However, the company intends to switch out this element with a cheaper metalloid such as silicon. Myersdorf pointed out the first-generation engineering sample confirmed the feasibility of using nanoscale metalloids in place of graphite. The innovation has not only led to faster charging but also a longer cycle life, improved safety, and greater structural stability. Apparently, the adoption of metalloids reduces the risk of swelling for the anode.
With the launch of the second-generation engineering sample, StoreDot believes that it has truly attained “extremely fast charging” and overcome the related challenges. The progress of this technology is only a few steps away from realizing the vision of instant charge for EVs.
EVE has been StoreDot’s manufacturing partner since 2018. According to reporting by other media outlets, around 1,000 of the batteries designed by StoreDot have been manufactured on EVE’s production lines. In its latest announcement, StoreDot mentioned that its technology can be integrated into the existing Li-ion battery manufacturing process for mass production. This can be done without requiring a lot of capital expenditure. Hence, the production cost of StoreDot’s battery is relatively low. The ability to easily complement the existing manufacturing process is a major point of differentiation between StoreDot and its competitors in the field of fast-charging traction batteries. Myersdorf added that the commercialization of his company’s technology has been proven feasible by the collaboration with EVE in pilot production.
(Image credit: StoreDot.)