Batteries capable of charging electric vehicles (EVs) in five minutes have been produced in a factory for the first time.
The batteries could allow EVs to charge at the same speed it would take a petrol or diesel car to be filled, placing them as a viable transport option.
FlashBattery technology is still in its early stages and is yet to be mass-produced, but it still marks a significant step towards having convenient use of electric vehicles in the future.
Commenting on the technology, StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf said: “The number one barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles is no longer cost, it is range anxiety.
“You’re either afraid that you’re going to get stuck on the highway or you’re going to need to sit in a charging station for two hours. But if the experience of the driver is exactly like fuelling [a petrol car], this whole anxiety goes away.
“A five-minute charging lithium-ion battery was considered to be impossible,” he said. “But we are not releasing a lab prototype, we are releasing engineering samples from a mass production line. This demonstrates it is feasible and it’s commercially ready.”
The new battery is unique in its design. Traditional EV battery packs use graphite as an electrode which becomes overwhelmed if charged too quickly.
However, StoreDot says its new FlashBattery replaces graphite with semiconductor nanoparticles into which ions can pass more quickly and easily, allowing the battery to be charged at speed.
The company claims that the battery cells can store enough energy “for up to 300 miles (480 km) range on a 5-minute charge,” translating to 60 miles of travel on a 1-minute charge.
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So far, the technology has only worked in small devices such as mobile phones or drones. The company says to make the technology work in an EV would require much higher-powered vehicle chargers than those currently available.
Despite this, StoreDot has received significant investment for the tech from firms such as Daimler, BP, Samsung and TDK, raising $130 million (£95 million).
This is also potentially good news for the use of EV in the UK after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed in June that £12 million funding would be made available to develop greener vehicles, help improve vehicle charging technology and drive the UK’s ‘green economic recovery’ in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shapps said that the funding would play a “crucial role” in helping the UK to achieve its net-zero carbon commitments.