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This 5-Minute Charging EV Battery Will Be The New Gas In 2025!

Manufacturers  ·  January 25, 2021

This 5-Minute Charging EV Battery Will Be The New Gas In 2025!

StoreDot recently revealed that they have commercially produced 1,000 units of a silicon-based EV battery that can add more than 150 km of charge to your electric car in a matter of 5 minutes. Launching of this fast-charging EV battery will be in 2025 if things go as planned. 

Why is 5-minute EV charging a big deal?

Cost used to be the biggest hurdle for electric vehicle manufacturers. However, EV uptake was slow due to their hefty price tag. As the driveaway price of electric vehicles evened out, or more likely car buyers began to see the long-term economy of going electric, range anxiety became the next stumbling block. 

Range anxiety refers to the drivers’ fear of running out of charge before reaching their destination or the next charging station. E-carmakers dealt with that issue by increasing range. Now it’s not uncommon to see EVs with ranges of 300-400 km, with Teslas boasting figures upwards of 600 km.  

Yet, even as manufacturers have addressed the range issue came another barrier—charging anxiety. Most EV owners’ (or would-be EV owners) concern today is the long hours that they will have to sit out at public points to power up their batteries. Considering that public EV charging infrastructures are wanting in many countries, including Australia, long charging times while on the run poses a real concern for drivers. 

Recognising this psychology, StoreDot sought to reduce the restlessness and inconvenience surrounding the issue and created an EV battery that takes only 5 minutes to charge fully. With this new tech, and we know that StoreDot is not alone in this field, we could already see a more aggressive EV adoption in 2-3 years. 

What do the numbers and units mean in an EV?

Slow as the EV uptake may be in Australia, it cannot be denied that we're witnessing the dawn of EVs. It may take a while more, but we will be less and less affected by the L/km our car returns or the AUD per litre displayed at petrol bowsers. That’s also to say that we will be more and more concerned about kWh, range in km, kW, V, amps, and more so with how long it will take to charge our cars. Here are some units and numbers associated with EVs (There are more!).

Battery capacity (kWh)

Battery capacity, expressed in kWh, is the amount of energy that you can store in a battery. With higher-capacity EV batteries, you can squeeze more energy into them by charging, which means more energy available for use when driving. An example would be the Hyundai Ioniq with 38.3 kWh and Tesla Model S with 100 kWh. 

Range (km)

You’re most likely aware of range because it's the subject of range anxiety. It's the maximum distance in kilometre that an EV can go from a full charge to zero, at which point or earlier it needs to recharge. The Hyundai Ioniq in the above example has a range of 310 km, while the Tesla Model S boasts 610 km.

Charging time (min or hr)

Most EVs are fully-charged overnight or after 8 hours when plugged from home outlets. Using the fastest available charging system, a Hyundai Ioniq takes 54 minutes to charge 80%, while a Tesla Model S reaches 80% capacity after 55 minutes. 

Imagine queuing in charging stations and waiting for almost an hour to plug your e-ride! In actual practice, fortunately, you don't need to wait out for the whole hour if you only need to stretch your charge for a few kilometres more. That is, you can charge your Ioniq for 2 minutes to gain 8-9 km more or your Tesla S for a minute to cover 17 km.

When looking to buy an EV, check out these figures and other specs, and find out your charging options along your usual route. The examples given were based on the fastest charging options available to these models. They underscore the importance of a speedier way to charge, making StoreDot’s technology more relevant today as we draw closer to the 2025-2030 global commitment to start banning fossil fuel vehicles

Who is StoreDot?

StoreDot is an Israeli company dealing with extreme fast-charging batteries for drones, scooters, and smartphones. CEO Doron Myersdorf reveals that they have produced 1,000 engineering samples of the commercially-ready battery, with Eve Energy as the manufacturer. They’re currently using germanium electrodes instead of the traditional graphite material but are looking at using another metalloid—silicon—for mass production. 

Myersdorf worked with SanDisk as senior director before putting up StoreDot. His educational background includes a PhD in R&D management, an MSc in Info Systems, and a BSc in Industrial Engineering Management.

The startup has raised $130m, with investments from BP, Daimler, Samsung, and TDK, and was one of the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Pioneers (BNEF Pioneer) in 2020. 

Is the new silicon-based EV battery the new gas?

The battery samples showcased that they would take only 5 minutes to charge using high-powered chargers fully. That’s almost comparable to the time you spend refilling with gas! But hold your horses; when the time comes, public charging stations will need to be upgraded, too. If used with the currently available charging facilities, a 5-minute charge will be good for around 150 km. This battery is rechargeable for 1,000 cycles, retaining 80% of its initial capacity. 

What holds back mass production at present is the difficulty and high cost of producing silicon-electrode lithium batteries. This may sound contradictory considering that silicon is one of the most abundant elements in the planet—second only to oxygen—and thus, is cheap. 

The problem is that there is no established supply chain for the high-quality and specs of silicon required to produce this battery. Not at the moment, anyway, but StoreDot sees that it’s only a matter of time before the supply chain catches up. 

The 2025 target predicts the 5-minute-charging EV battery to carry a 10-15% heftier price tag than the traditional Li-ion batteries. As StoreDot scales up in the next few years and the supply chain stabilises, Myersdorf forecasts the flattening of costs, translating to cheaper silicon-based EV batteries. 

There are several factors limiting the speed of EV charging, but this new development ensures that the battery will not be the reason for the long wait. Thus, Myersdorf emphasised the urgency of upgrading the charging systems and power grids to remove bottlenecks in EV charging completely.

StoreDot goes head-to-head with Enevate, a Penn State University research team, Sila Nanotechnologies, Tesla, and dozen other developers in revolutionising the way and time it takes to charge EVs. Let’s see who gets us there first—make sure you read it here

We’re probably seeing the last of ICE vehicles, as many automakers are starting to phase out diesels in favour of petrols, hybrids, and EVs eventually. But trust Australians to give them the love and TLC they deserve. If you’ve got your trusty LandCruiser grounded for some parts that need fixing, don’t let it rust away—they don’t build ‘em that way anymore!

Get your mechanic on the phone, or contact one through the Directory. Parts shouldn’t be a problem either; we’ve made searching for auto parts so much easier for you. You can check out this page to request for a part. The moment you press ‘SEND’, our system contacts our 500-plus-strong sellers and wreckers all across Australia. Those who have the part you specified will contact you with their best price, and you choose the one with the quote that’s most advantageous to you. You can try it now!   

By Jeannette Salanga (JMSL) 

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