Last year, StoreDot made news with its rapid-charging smartphone battery that the Israeli startup claimed could be fully recharged in just 30 seconds, while hinting the technology could be scaled up for fast-charging electric vehicles (EVs). After completing a round of funding for a new EV business unit, StoreDot might just be able to deliver on its vision of EVs that can receive a full charge in just five minutes.
StoreDot's FlashBattery technology relies on "nanodots", which are comprised of bio-organic peptides whose raw materials are abundant in nature and also self-assemble, making for a more affordable product. These form the basis of a multi-function electrode that allows for supercapacitor-like rapid charging, with a slow discharge more like a lithium-ion battery.
The concept still includes lithium components in the cathode, but the company claims that its modified anode and cathode and a proprietary electrolyte and separator are responsible for the incredible recharge speeds.
Scaled up for use in an electric vehicle, an array of StoreDot cells comprising 7,000 cells would purportedly store enough energy for 300 miles (480 km) of driving on just five minutes of charging. The company also promise batteries that are less volatile and offer longer lifetimes due to the use of materials that are less likely to metalize during charge/discharge cycles.
The company's US$18 million in new funding primarily came from existing investors, including Samsung Ventures, and brings the total funding to-date to $66 million. As part of the research, StoreDot plans on also developing a rapid-charging industry standard and a charging station.
Traditional supercapacitor technology is too big for consumer vehicles, having a very low energy to mass ratio. However, StoreDot claims to have solved the limitations of both supercapacitors and batteries with its hybrid solution, without having to pick and choose between increased capacity, fast-charging, or extended battery-life.
However, with the phone battery technology not expected on the market until next year at the earliest, it may be some time before we see the fruits of the vehicle research.
Below is StoreDot's brief teaser about its FlashBattery tech in EVs.