Electric car batteries capable of fully charging in five minutes have been produced, it has been announced this morning.
The Israeli company StoreDot has developed the new lithium-ion battery technology and the sample cells were produced by their strategic partner, German firm EVE Energy’s Chinese arm.
Furthermore, the new electric vehicle (EV) batteries were produced on existing EV battery production lines. StoreDot’s CEO, Doron Myersdorf, was keen to stress that these were not laboratory prototypes but engineering samples, clearly demonstrating the new battery technology’s commercial feasibility.
Looking at future rollout, the new battery technology will require higher-powered chargers than are available today, but StoreDot are aiming to make this a reality by 2025.
The extreme fast charging (XFC) batteries have previously been built and demonstrated for use in smaller applications such as electric drones and an electric scooter last year when the firm demonstrated its world first with joint venture partner BP. However, this is the first time the XFC battery technology has been demonstrated for use in electric cars. Other investors in StoreDot include Samsung, Daimler AG (Mercedes-Benz) and TDK.
The move is particularly important as the issue of “range anxiety” is still the main barrier to the uptake in electric vehicle use. By allowing EV users to recharge an electric vehicle in a similar amount of time to that in which they’d refuel a petrol or diesel vehicle, the technology gains parity and becomes a viable alternative on an almost equal footing.
Currently Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) batteries have one graphite electrode into which the lithium ions are pushed. When rapidly charged, these batteries can short circuit if the ions get congested.
The new StoreDot battery technology instead of the graphite electrode uses nanotechnology to help the flow of lithium ions and avoid short-circuit risks. The sample EV batteries use germanium nanoparticles but the plan for large-scale production is to use silico, a cheaper long-term alternative.
Other companies such as Tesla and Enevate are also pursuing the five-minute XFC goal, with the aim to make a commercially viable product that can be charged at least 500 without degrading the EC battery life. After this milestone, retaining 80% of original capacity at 1,000 charges is important with as many as 2,500 cycles being key for a useful full battery life.
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