We develop innovative materials for ultra-fast charging of Li-ion batteries. We want to be able to fully charge vehicles in five minutes.
Yes! That is why we have developed state-of-the-art labs for synthesis of organic materials that can reduce to a minimum or even replace some of the problematic materials such as cobalt.
New and innovative materials are required to improve the energy density and durability of batteries.
Very high. Second-life usage of batteries is an emerging field and supports the balancing of the grid as well as buffering for fast charging stations.
This is a huge challenge that only now companies are starting to seriously invest in. Since the economies of scale were not there until recently, this field is still nascent. If more research and development was invested into this then there would be more capabilities to extract the materials.
Ultra-fast charging [i.e. five minutes] can mitigate the range anxiety in a different way. StoreDot proposes that instead of over-designing large batteries [i.e. for 800 km], we will provide a charging experience for the driver that is as fast as fuelling, with some compromise of the overall range. The fact that you could instantly charge your car up would give you almost unlimited mileage, so the range anxiety would go away completely.
This technology is still not available for EVs. Platinum and palladium require much further research to unlock the potential of Lithium Air and Lithium Sulphur battery chemistries to increase their discharge capacities and cyclability. Another decade at least of R&D is required to commercialize such new battery technology.
Solid-state is where you replace the electrolytes in the batteries, the liquid, with solid material that enables a much greater energy density which is also safer. They are also another great promise that requires critical innovation of new materials. It is interesting for small batteries, but not so viable for EVs in the coming years. In my opinion they are especially not relevant for fast charging, as the heat challenges are too severe.
Battery Management Systems (BMS) of EVs are becoming more sophisticated and can manage in real time the health of the cells while ensuring the optimal usage based on the driving habits of the driver and changing road conditions and climate.
Due to the larger production scale today, the organic YOY improvement in Li-ion is 5 per cent. while the cost is reduced by a similar rate. On top of that, new and innovative materials such as what StoreDot develops can double this organic rate. So by 2030 the cost will reach $75 per kWh. The prices are also steadily falling anyway with supply and demand.
Safety is the most important parameter in our battery design. At StoreDot we’ve introduced ceramic separators as well as additives that are fire deterrents in the formulation and structure of the cells. We conduct dozens of safety tests for each formulation and use Data Science to pinpoint the safer batteries that will reach PPB (Part per Billion) safety levels and will be much safer than a combustion engine vehicle.
The problem of humanity up to 50 years ago was how to generate electricity, when electricity companies started burning coal and gas, etc. This problem is now less relevant as we have alternatives to fossil fuels. So the major problem has shifted and now the challenge is the ability to move this energy around and make it available to people where and when they need, and keep the cities clean of fossil fuels. Batteries play a key role in taking alternative energy sources and delivering them to the “last mile”.
Batteries will not be the only solution to store energy. There are other solutions such fuel cells, flywheels, and so on, that allow us to store energy. Nevertheless, for a passenger car, the most effective solution in the coming decades is li-ion batteries; however there could be advancements in LSD batteries or hydrogen cells in the future. The Giga Factory of Tesla/Panasonic in Nevada was 35GwH back in 2014, so I believe the number today that you quoted is at least three times as much as that.
The ability to use EVs not only as a vehicle, but also as a backup power for the home, as well as balancing of the Power Grid, so that with support of AI, the overall energy storage problem of the world is optimised across vehicles, homes and the Grid in one continuum. In that way we can save a global optimum problem of energy as opposed to solving a vehicle-by-vehicle local problem.
Exactly, but let’s not forget that big vehicles are part of a revolution this year, and EVs are becoming connected and autonomous. All these mega trends are coming together with the electric vehicles revolution, and fast charging is at the centre of this perfect storm. But these things take time to grow in order to make whole experience quick and convenient.
Just the notion that to really get EVs to the next step, you need new battery technology. This is why we started StoreDot, to put research and development into new and improved batteries.