A start-up wants to charge electric cars in five minutes

(Herzliya) Charge your battery for five minutes: that is the purpose of a Get started The Israeli company that, by limiting billing time, wants to encourage the development of electric vehicles and eliminate “autonomy anxiety”.

Posted on March 7, 2021

Alexandra VARDI
France Media Agency

Specializing in ultra-fast charging, the company StoreDot, based in Herzliya near Tel Aviv, has developed the first generation of lithium-ion batteries that fully charge in five minutes, regardless of vehicle capacity.

Hundreds of prototypes are currently being tested by manufacturers.

There is no need for long recharge times as is currently the case, promises Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot, where reduced charging times are key to reluctance in electric vehicles.


PHOTO EMMANUEL DUNAND, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf

“You won’t be afraid to find yourself stuck on the highway without energy,” he told AFP at the offices of the company he founded in 2012 and where its batteries were first tested on phones, drones and mopeds, before ride in electric vehicles.

In 2019, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to American John Goodenough, British Stanley Whittingham and Japanese Akira Yoshino for the invention of lithium-ion batteries, which are now in many everyday technologies.

“This type of light, rechargeable and powerful battery is now used everywhere, in telephones, computers and electric vehicles”, justified the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences giving the prize.

In particular, by replacing the graphite anode of the silicon battery, “it becomes possible to charge lithium-ion batteries in five minutes”, whereas “it was considered impossible” then, Doron declared. Myersdorf, holds a doctorate in industrial engineering at the Technion, a major Israeli scientific institution located in Haifa (north).


PHOTO EMMANUEL DUNAND, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

An employee at work in the StoreDot factory, based in Herzliya

“Four to five years”

For Éric Espérance, an expert in the automotive sector with the company Roland Berger in Paris, super -fast charging is actually a “revolution” but will have to wait for these new batteries to get under the bodywork.

“We are still far from the industrial car market,” he told AFP. Especially charging stations also need to be adapted before being used by the general public.

For marketing, “it takes four to five years from the time we start working on a model, i.e. a vehicle design cycle”, explains Doron Myersdorf, whose company has four major investors: the giant Korean Samsung, German automaker Daimler, the British oil giant. BP and Japanese electronics maker TDK.

In the laboratory equipped with large glass cages, StoreDot chemists thoroughly assemble approximately one hundred units per week intended for partner manufacturers and potential collaborators to demonstrate the technology to them.


PHOTO EMMANUEL DUNAND, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The team is already making the second generation of cheaper batteries. “The battery costs approximately $ 100 per kilowatt-hour, the price of a traditional lithium-ion battery,” the CEO said.

Battery capacity varies, depending on the model, between 15 kWh and over 100 kWh.

During the Nobel presentation, the Royal Academy of Sciences noted that lithium-ion batteries could “save huge amounts of solar and wind energy” paving the way for a possible decarbonization of transport.

Despite the successes of American pioneer Tesla, which has become expensive by financial markets, the road still seems long: electric vehicles are relatively expensive and in 2019 represent only 2.6% of sales. , according to the International Energy Agency. .

Thorny questions remain about the ecological impact of extracting and recycling the heavy metals contained in batteries.

“Extracting [du lithium] uses a lot of water and therefore dries up the water tables and causes local ecological disasters ”, explains Mr. Espérance, reminding that a battery“ is not infinite, but made to have 3000- 3500 billing/discharge cycles “.

“We have to set up a recycling channel, because there is for lead batteries […] Now this network is still in the process of being deployed ”, he said.

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