New electric car batteries can charge in five-minutes

Israeli company StoreDot has unveiled the first factory produced, five-minute charging battery, which could make electric cars a more viable option for buyers in the near future.

Electric cars have taken a while to truly take off with consumers.

While big names like Tesla have made them trendy for wealthy celebs and business folks, they’ve yet to capture widespread commercial interest from ordinary people.

The high entry costs coupled with less efficient engines have meant most of us are yet to convert, despite some countries like the UK promising to ban all new petrol and diesel cars by 2035. Charging ports are hard to come by compared to traditional service stations and it can often take hours to fully ‘refill’ the tank.

That might change in the near future, however, as Israeli tech company StoreDot has unveiled a factory produced, fast charging lithium-ion battery that could wipe away much of the current inconvenience surrounding electric vehicles. It’s able to store full battery power within five minutes, and StoreDot says it’ll be reasonably priced and can be mass produced.

StoreDot has already developed over 1000 ‘fast-changing’ batteries for phones, drones, and scooters, and has managed to raise over $130 million USD in investment funding.

Before you rush out and grab yourself a nifty electric car though, it’s worth noting that these ridiculously quick charging times won’t be available right out of the gate.

StoreDot says that much more powerful chargers will be needed worldwide before these batteries can be charged at maximum speed, but it is aiming to deliver 100 miles worth of power within five minutes by 2025 using currently available charging ports.

That’s still a highly impressive feat that could change the industry significantly for regular, everyday buyers.

In a statement, StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf said that the ‘number one barrier’ stopping electric vehicle adoption is range anxiety. ‘You’re either afraid you’re going to get stuck on the highway or you’re going to need to sit in a charging station for two hours. If the experience is exactly like fueling a petrol car, this whole anxiety goes away’.

Other companies like Tesla, Sila Nanotechnologies, and Enevate are also developing fast-charging batteries in the hopes of transforming global carbon neutrality efforts. Elon Musk recently stressed the urgency of battery development, describing it as a ‘very important problem’ – and if that doesn’t get you on board, what will?

While companies are hoping to have these batteries rolled out to the masses within the next five years, some academics are sceptical of the time frame.

Anna Tomaszewska at Imperial College London, who examined fast charging batteries two years ago, is adamant that they’ll remain exclusive to niche markets that are focused on performance rather than price, at least at first. ‘They’ll [still] be more difficult and expensive to manufacture’ than regular cars, she reasoned.

Still, it seems we’re on the edge of a major breakthrough for batteries. The implications could be huge, not only for sustainable electric vehicles, but also for our phones, tablets, and other devices. Imagine an iPhone charging in a few minutes and lasting for weeks. I know my overly stuffed cupboard full of forgotten wires could do with a clear out, at the very least.

Perhaps we’ll all be driving snazzy, fast-charging cars before too long – it’ll be a nothing short of a necessity if we seriously want to reach those carbon zero goals.

@thredmag

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