When it comes to the future of hybrid and electric vehicles, battery technology is the single largest hurdle to progress. Chassis parts may be getting lighter, and engines more fuel efficient, but getting a battery to charge quickly, last a long time, and fit in a package-able size is proving difficult. But there may be hope.
Right now, it takes a Tesla fast-charger about 30 minutes to add 170 miles to the range of one of its cars. The slow charging time (when not using a fast charger) has been argued as a reason that EVs are slow to catch on, representing less than one percent of new cars sold. According to Fortune, Israeli startup StoreDot is looking to add hundreds of miles in a mere five-minute charge.
StoreDot is using nanotechnology to create “almost transparent” electrode layers that make up its batteries. A typical lithium-ion battery is made up of various elements, and its composition and design prevent electricity from flowing as fast as possible. It is called the battery’s internal resistance, and StoreDot nanotech design is claimed to solve that problem, drastically reducing charge times.
The company is starting to test its battery tech on cell phones, and expects to ink a deal with a phone maker in the next several quarters. If all goes according to plan StoreDot’s batteries could wind up in cell phones in the next year.
When could we expect this tech in electric cars? It will take a little longer. StoreDot is starting an automotive division to scale this up to an automotive application. It recently raised $18 million from the Korean division of Samsung and Russian investor Roman Abramovich, and has raised $66 million total. The company intends to use the most recent investment to develop this fast-charging tech for electric cars.
Only time will tell if this is the game changer that pushes the electric car into the mainstream.
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