- A new type of electric-car battery, that can be charged in five minutes, has been unveiled in China.
- Standard electric-vehicle batteries can take many hours to fully charge and is seen as a barrier to mass adoption of electric vehicles.
- The switch to electric cars is an important part of global efforts to lower emissions and combat climate change.
An electric-car battery that can be charged in five minutes, the amount of time it takes to fill up a tank of gas, has been produced for the first time in a factory in China.
The new lithium-ion batteries were developed by the Israeli company StoreDot and manufactured by Eve Energy in China. The company has produced 1,000 sample batteries compliant with li-ion battery certifications, StoreDot said.
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The samples will be used to showcase the company's technology to prospective buyers and investors looking to get a jump on the electric-vehicle market, including BP, Daimler, Samsung Ventures, and TDK.
Faster-charging batteries would make electric vehicles more functional
For many drivers, electric cars do not cut it for long trips because of the amount of time it takes to charge the vehicles. Electric-car batteries on the market can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours to charge, though a typical EV takes about eight hours to charge from empty to full, according to Pod Point, a manufacturer of electric-vehicle chargers.
Electric vehicles are a crucial part of Biden's $2 trillion climate-change plan, in which he wants an entirely green electric power grid by 2035 with cars running on electricity instead of gasoline. StoreDot's new battery technology would make this green future more feasible, eliminating what CEO Doron Myersdorf called electric vehicle's biggest barriers: "range and charging anxiety."
"Today's announcement marks an important milestone, moving XFC for the first time beyond innovation in the lab to a commercially-viable product that is scalable for mass production," Myersdorf said in a press release. "We're on the cusp of achieving a revolution in the EV charging experience that will remove the critical barrier to mass adoption of EVs."
Electric cars average about 250 miles of driving per charge. With a battery that could charge faster, drivers would not be range-bound and could take EVs on longer trips.
While lithium-ion batteries use graphite as an electrode, the StoreDot battery works faster by replacing graphite with semiconductor nanoparticles that allow ions to pass more easily and quickly. The company expects to replace this electrode with silicon, a much cheaper component, by the end of the year.
Tesla is also working on developing silicon electrodes.
Elon Musk has long been calling for faster charging speeds for electric cars
On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted, "Battery cell production is the fundamental rate-limiter slowing down a sustainable energy future. Very important problem."
Tesla has been making strides to give EVs a longer travel range through an extensive Supercharger network, as well as its new generation of long-range electric cars that can go up to 400 miles between charges. Musk hopes to make electric cars as convenient and accessible as conventional combustion-engine vehicles.
Fast-charging EV batteries are still several years away
StoreDot's five-minute battery will likely not enter the mainstream market for many years, as mass production will not be available for quite some time as the company continues to hone its technology.
The startup has experimented with fast-charging batteries in the past for phones, drones, and scooters. In 2014, the company developed a prototype of a charger that could boost your phone's battery from dead to fully charged in 30 seconds.