A new generation of battery technology promises to halve charging times and reduce the weight of electric cars.
An Israeli electric-car battery-maker claims its next-generation power packs could use radical technology that would cut charging times in half – while offering a weight and cost advantage compared to existing batteries.
In a media statement, Israel-based firm StoreDot detailed its new ‘Extreme Fast Charging (XFC)’ battery pack, claiming the new technology can be rapidly charged to extend an electric car’s driving range by up to 160 kilometres after just five minutes.
According to StoreDot, the XFC battery uses a silicon anode rather than the metal oxides found in a traditional lithium-ion battery, providing faster charging and better driving range per kilowatt-hour (kWH) – the efficiency rating of an electric car – compared to the existing technology.
An infographic shared by the company (below) shows a pair of electric cars – one with a lithium-ion battery and the other with a silicon battery.
The lithium-ion battery-powered car has a driving range of 483km with an 80kWh pack, while the silicon battery achieves more than 320km of range with its 50kWh pack.
Based on calculations by Drive, the two cars return consumption figures of 16.6kWh per 100km and 15.6kWh per 100km, respectively.
Using an identical charger, StoreDot claims the 50kWh silicon battery charges from 10 to 80 per cent in less than 10 minutes (or 3.5kWh per minute), while the 80kWh pack takes 40 minutes to be charged to the same capacity (1.4kWh per minute).
The silicon battery’s efficiency boost could also allow car-makers to install smaller and lighter batteries in their electric vehicles, reducing the amount of strain on the brakes, suspension and tyres.
StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf claims its new silicon battery technology could reduce the cost of building a new car by up to $US4500 ($AU6700), depending on market conditions.
“Radically reduced charging times will allow automotive manufacturers to rethink how they approach battery size and range,” Mr Myersdorf said in a media statement.
“When charging times are no longer an issue, it makes a lot more sense to fit smaller battery packs.”
The cost savings could transform the accessibility of electric vehicles and sustainability of batteries, with better car efficiency, fewer raw materials needed and less recycling at the end of their in-vehicle life.”
It’s worth noting this is not the first time StoreDot has made claims regarding revolutionary electric-car battery technology.
In January 2015, Yahoo reported Mr Myersdorf as saying StoreDot was “just one year away” from developing a system which could charge an electric car in three minutes – equivalent to filling a petrol tank.
The executive made it clear his and his company’s claims had not been peer reviewed at the time, though StoreDot now claims to have more than 15 automotive brands supporting its research – including Polestar, Volvo, Vinfast and Daimler.
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