Isareli startup StoreDot has long promised a Holy Grail of battery technology: a battery that can recharge in about the same amount of time it takes to pump gasoline. Now the startup is delivering the first samples of its so-called "five-minute charge" lithium-ion battery cells.
The sample cells were produced to show off the technology to potential industry partners, including automakers and battery manufacturers, a StoreDot press release said. So don't expect to see these cells in a production electric car just yet.
StoreDot first discussed plans for fast-charging EV batteries in 2015, and now has the support of British Petroleum.
StoreDot's cells use a variation of the lithium-ion chemistry found in all current electric-car batteries. The new chemistry replaces graphite in the cell's anode with "metalloid nanoparticles," according to the company.
Manufacturing of sample cells, which was done by Chinese firm Eve Energy, shows that a commercially-viable version of this chemistry is possible, StoreDot said, adding that its cells could be manufactured using the same facilities as conventional lithium-ion cells.
However, the company has yet to show how its cells would scale up for mass production at a gigawatt-hour scale.
If it can find a manufacturing partner able to produce its cells at scale—and they can meet tough longevity and degradation standards for electric cars—StoreDot could surpass the most ambitious goals of some established firms.
Chinese automaker Nio is resorting to a different strategy: optional battery swapping, providing a fully-charged battery in three minutes, for those really in a hurry.
But as a reality check, the need for such fast charging might be a relatively small niche after all. A 2020 study found that 31-minute charging—along with a 291-mile range and a $36,000 base price—is the global tipping point for mass EV adoption.