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Tech Startup Claims to Have EV Holy Grail: 5-Minute-Full Battery Charging

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I tend to write a lot about electric cars for The News Wheel, and that means one thing for my friends and family—they are going to hear a lot of stuff about vehicles moving on electrons. However, while discussing electric vehicles, my significant other made one point that I had to concede: “Electric cars really need to fix those long charging times to sway people.”

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It is true—electric cars, when plugged into either a Level 1 (typical 120V outlet) or Level 2 (240V outlet like you have for your washer/dryer) charger take a long time to charge, typically in the realm of hours from empty—although I have to point out that this would very rarely happen in normal use, save for road trips. Heck, even on a DC fast charger, the fastest most car manufacturers can get so far is 80% charge after 30 minutes.

However, one Israeli startup called StoreDot has claimed to have created the long-hoped-for miracle of car charging: a full charge from empty in the same kind of time it takes for a gas fill-up.

Here’s StoreDot’s promotional video.

For those who couldn’t watch the video (or those that did, really), here is what you can really take away from it: StoreDot claims that their batteries can be charged, in a car with 300 or so miles of range, in 5 minutes, because they use some sort of organic compound and layered “nanomaterials.” These batteries, according to the company, were originally designed for use in cell phones, a product it called FlashBattery.

StoreDot also claims that its batteries solve two other common complaints against electric cars, which are, basically, “How green can these vehicles be if their materials are coming from mines?” and “How green can these vehicles be if their huge batteries degrade and need to be pitched or recycled?” The StoreDot batteries, the company says on its website, are made using organic compounds in an “aquatic-based manufacturing process,” solving the mining issue, and also degrade slower due to their design, if not solving then at least helping the battery degradation issue.

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StoreDot EV battery pack

StoreDot EV battery pack
Photo: StoreDot

The company took this technology at the Cube Tech Fair in Berlin, where it claimed that the batteries are also safer than lithium-ion batteries (the current standard) because the materials have a higher combustion temperature. It also said that it employed 30 scientists, chemists, and engineers in its $20-million-invested laboratories.

Now, we should be excited by this—a five-minute electric car charging time is pretty ideal, and about on par with gas fill-up times. However, we don’t know how expensive it is to make the batteries, ramp up production, etc, all of which vehicle manufacturers will certainly be concerned about and which will certainly affect when, if at all, the technology will be implemented. Hopefully, though, it won’t be too much, and maybe in 10 years, you can charge your electric car in the time it takes to run to the restroom and back.

So, get excited, people—but only a little bit.

News Sources: Green Car Reports, Greundermetropole via Periscope, StoreDot