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An Israeli Startup focus on developing new, innovative EV batteries

Monday, December 5, 2022

While electric vehicles (EVs) have existed for over 120 years, the recent advancement in battery technologies makes it feasible to consider electrifying the entire production of light passenger cars.

Since Tesla started production of the Roadster, the first high-performance electric car of this century, all major automotive manufacturers have begun producing EVs. All of those, more than 400 at this time, are using lithium-ion-based battery packs.

As with other devices and technologies using batteries, a big challenge is to charge them quickly and safely. At this point, EV drivers need to stop for an hour to get a full charge of the car’s battery.

Several technologies are in development to solve the fast-changing challenge. Some, such as solid-state batteries, are still years away and require significant changes in production facilities and operations.

StoreDot, an Israeli company developing new, innovative battery chemistry that it asserts is fast, safe, and cost-effective, is now showing promise. The company’s 100inX (100 miles in X minutes) battery cell roadmap aims for 100 in 5 minutes in 2024, 100 in 3 by 2028, and 100 in 2 in 2032 (using post-lithium solid-state technology), according to Myersdorf.

The company has raised over $200 million from investors, such as Daimler, Volvo, Polestar, VinFast, Ola Electric EVE Energy, TDK, BP Ventures and Samsung Ventures.

During the Web Summit in Lisbon last month, StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf showed the audience how, using his company’s current technology, he could charge a 30A power cell in 10min—without overheating.

Ahead of his presentation, EE Times spoke with Myersdorf about the EV market, the challenges in battery charging and the technology’s future.

Ten-year-old StoreDot began with the premise of developing “new materials and new configurations of batteries that are geared for fast charging,” Myersdorf said. “When we say fast charging, we call it ‘extreme fast charging’ because we charge in minutes…. The idea is that in the vehicle, the driver’s experience will eventually be exactly like [gas station] fueling, only without the fuel. So, you would be in and out of the charging station in minutes.”

StoreDot manufacturers using the same process currently used for the lithium-ion batteries featured in today’s electric cars. Its current product only changes the chemistry of the battery’s anode.

“We developed an alternative anode, which is based on silicon. But silicon has issues: swelling and amorphous structure,” he said. “So, it can crack. We have been able to synthesize some organic materials that protect the silicon during fast charging. Now, after 10 years, finally, we have released an electric vehicle form factor.”

A powerful charging station is required to fast charge a large battery. Myersdorf said the world needs at least 350-kWh stations, which are being deployed in places like California and several European countries.

Solid-state batteries, when perfected, could change the entire ecosystem, Myersdorf said, adding that such an advancement is at least a decade away.

Solid state tech has “so many challenges,” including some in manufacturing and some on the material side, he said. Not to mention the fact that “you cannot use the existing infrastructure, and the fact that you cannot fast charge it because of the resistance.”

Myersdorf said StoreDot’s batteries should cost about the same as the current technology.

“Most of the elements are exactly the same as the traditional supply chain,” he said. “We changed the anode. The anode is the least expensive element of the battery. Most of the cost is in the cathode. We initially add a small percentage, single-digit, for the anode nanomaterials such as the silicon, which we need to process at nanoscale. That adds some cost. But as we scale up, this will be at least comparable to graphite. So, price needs to come down over the years with scale for the entire industry.”

Regarding the production of its current product, StoreDot is beginning to manufacture in China—in partnership with Eve Energy.

“We started in China because 70, to 80% of the battery production is in China. We don’t have many factories outside of China,” except for some new European factories like Automotive Cells Company (ACC) for Mercedes, Myersdorf said, noting that Mercedes has invested in StoreDot.

By: DocMemory
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