New electric car battery can fully charge in just five minutes
Breakthrough tech will speed up EV charging
“When cars are capable of being charged in the same amount of time as using a petrol station, I will switch.” A wish made by millions of motorists across the world has now been answered.
An Israeli company called StoreDot has invented a new lithium-ion battery capable of being fully charged to 100% in just five minutes.
And this isn’t just a silly lab experiment, the ‘extreme fast-charging’ batteries have been manufactured 1,000 times by Eve Energy in China on a mass production line, demonstrating to carmakers around the world it’s legit.
The CEO of StoreDot, Doron Myersdorf, told The Guardian: “A five-minute charging lithium-ion battery was considered to be impossible," he said. “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 innovative company has big backers including Daimler, BP, Samsung and TDK who have all invested in StoreDot. In total it has raised $130m to date.
How is this battery faster?
Rather than using graphite, the StoreDot battery uses semiconductor nanoparticles into which ions – the electrically charged atoms – can pass more quickly and easily.
Why is graphite bad?
Graphite is used in existing Li-ion batteries as one electrode into which the lithium ions are pushed to store charge. However, the problem with graphite is, when rapidly charged, the ions can get stuck and turn into metal and short circuit the battery.
Seeing as we want more fast charging points across the world, graphite technology may struggle.
Won’t this be more expensive?
In short, no it won’t be.
Currently, nanoparticles are based on germanium, which is water-soluble and easier to handle in manufacturing. However, StoreDot wants to use silicon, which is much cheaper meaning the cost of these batteries would be the same as existing Li-ion batteries.
StoreDot is not alone in developing this new tech. Tesla, Enevate and Sila Nanotechnologies are also working on silicon electrodes for EV batteries.
What’s the downside?
This new battery couldn’t charge in five minutes from your average mains plug, it would require much higher-powered chargers than in existence today. And this may, in turn, be more expensive – either to build and use.
The good news is countries around the world have pledged billions to invest in new fast-charging infrastructure. StoreDot themselves are working closely with BP to create facilities capable of charging in 5 minutes.
There is no denying that this is a great leap forward and could certainly cause a great many people to switch to EV’s earlier and more easily than expected.
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