Photo Courtesy of StoreDot
It’s no secret that one of the main hurdles preventing the electric vehicle (EV) industry from really taking off is the slow battery charging process which can take a number of hours. Tel Aviv-based nanotech startup StoreDot is about to change all that.
At the recent CUBE Tech Fair held in Berlin, StoreDot showcased proof of concept of a technology they are claiming will make ultra-fast charging of electric car batteries a reality. They’re calling it FlashBattery, and instead of the typical Lithium-Ion makeup, it uses layers of nanomaterials combined with proprietary organic compounds for a battery that’s environment-friendly and cheap to make.
It’s also less flammable and features a high combustion threshold, which means it’s safer to use too. And the best part, it only takes 5 minutes to reach full charge, providing a driving range of up to 300 miles (480 kilometers) depending on what type of EV you are driving.
While most battery manufacturers were only able to focus on improving one of the following features — increased capacity, fast charging or longer battery life — StoreDot claims that with FlashBattery, they were able to improve on all 3 features simultaneously.
To make this possible, StoreDot made use of chemically synthesized organic molecules called nanodots which apparently have ‘uniquely tunable optical and electrochemical properties’ that allows energy storage devices to perform better.
As it is, traditional Li-Ion batteries have a cathode comprised of metal oxides or polyanions that are recharged continuously by the insertion of lithium ions. This process doesn’t only limit conductivity as the chemical reactions within the battery cause it to degrade over time ; it also reduces battery life expectancy. Additionally, the electrolyte used is flammable and highly volatile, which means it’s a safety risk for users.
In contrast, StoreDot’s FlashBattery combines metal oxide compounds and proprietary organic polymers for a modified anode and a modified cathode that allows ions to flow from the anode to the cathode at much faster speeds than what current technologies are capable of. Combining this with a proprietary separator and electrolyte enables a high current and low internal resistance. It also enhances energy density, prolongs battery life, and makes the whole charging process faster and safer.
According to StoreDot, the FlashBattery for EV is in ‘advanced stages of development’ and that they are exploring partnership options to help boost the production process. They are expecting that the FlashBattery will be commercially available within the next 3 years. And if that does happen, there’s no reason notbto think that more consumers will be enticed to make the shift from gas-powered to electric-powered transportation.
Check out this video for a glimpse on how the FlashBattery works.