StoreDot pivots to electric vehicles

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Despite shipping production pouch cells that charge in five minutes for drones and robotics, Israeli startup StoreDot is moving to cylindrical cells for electric cars.

“We are releasing engineering samples of the first generation that fully charges in five minutes – this is the first ever in mass production,” CEO and founder Doron Myersdorf told eeNews Power. “We produced 1000 samples with 3000 being produced now and this is going into a production line,” he said.

“This proves two points as the first to market. This was something that was considered impossible to do,” he said. “The second point is that it is not coming our lab but from our partner EVE Energy. Over the last two years we worked with them to stabilise the production line and there is no need for additional expenditure in the equipment and toolset. This is important as the cost is important and the fact that you can use existing lines is important.”

But the company will move away from this technology, based on germanium, to focus on a silicon anode for electric vehicles (EV). This is influenced by European investors that include car maker Daimler and energy supplier bp that is converting its petrol forecourts to electric charging. The ten-year old startup has raised over $130m for the technology and rollout, which includes consumer giant Samsung.

“We have taken a strategy decision to focus on the EV market,” said Myersdorf. This will use the 4680 cylindrical form factor proposed by Tesla for its next generation high volume production line. 

“We are moving from germanium in the anode to silicon which is much more cost effective and available. Eventually this will come to a lower price than today’s graphite anode battery,” he said.

The first generation technology will be available for consumer and industrial designs through EVE directly rather than StoreDot, he said. “All the other industries will receive samples and can engage on production but as a technology provider the focus on the second generation for EVs, with prototypes later this year.” Like the first generation, this will be able to use existing high volume automotive battery cell manufacturing lines.

Next: StoreDot EV plans 

Rather than charging an entire vehicle battery pack in five minutes with an very high power charger, the emphasis is matching the charging infrastructure.   

“The parameter that is critical for the driver as a new goal is not five minute charging but the miles per minute in the charging station,” said Myersdorf. “Today its 3-4 miles/min, Tesla superchargers can do 6. We are targeting 20 mile per minutes which will give roughly 100 miles in that five minutes. The reason we are not going to a full charge in five minutes is we are trying to go and in hand with the infrastructure upgrades.”

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