Electric cars might be about to get much more desirable.
An Israeli company called, StoreDot, is on the cusp of a major breakthrough that would remove one of the biggest hurdles to making electric cars mainstream.
The company is releasing its first production batch of a new type of lithium ion battery, which it claims can be recharged in five minutes. This new battery would make electric cars as easy and quick to refuel as petrol or diesel vehicles.
StoreDot is providing the sample battery cells to showcase the groundbreaking tech to potential EV partners.
StoreDot has some big name backers including Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler, BP, Samsung and Japanese electronics giant TDK.
The tech company has previously demonstrated a full 100 per cent charge in a mobile phone and then a scooter and claims it can do the same with an EV.
Electric cars currently slow the rate of charge for the last 20 per cent to stop the battery overheating.
This is the biggest risk to lithium ion batteries in electric cars; they can rupture and catch fire due to overheating.
StoreDot has worked through this issue by replacing the graphite used to store the energy in regular lithium ion batteries with a new compound that doesn’t expand like graphite does when holding charge.
StoreDot hasn’t provided details on what kind of charge is necessary to achieve the breakthrough five-minute charge time.
Porsche’s new Taycan is one of the fastest charging vehicles. Using 800-volt tech and a 350kW supercharger it can add 100km of range in five minutes. Unfortunately the base Porsche Taycan will cost more than $200,000 on the road.
But StoreDot isn’t the only company developing groundbreaking new battery tech. Toyota is rumoured to be on the cusp of something big, too.
COVID-19 stalled a the development of the brand’s solid-state battery.
The Japanese giant was due to unveil a working prototype of its new electric-car tech at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which was cancelled due to the pandemic. But according to Asian business publication, the Nikkei, this is now due some next year.
A solid state battery is a huge advancement over the current lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars.
In simple terms, a solid-state battery is smaller, faster to charge, more energy dense and less likely to catch fire than current batteries. That’s because the battery uses a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid or gel.
Estimates put range at more than 800km and up to 1000km, with the ability to charge in less than 10 minutes.