If we want to tackle the climate crisis, then we have to adopt electric vehicles in mass. One major barrier that stands in the way of mass adoption is range anxiety: the fear that you will either run out of charge and get stuck on the highway or you’ll end up sitting at a charging station for two hours.
Looking to overcome range anxiety, Israeli company StoreDot has developed new lithium-ion batteries that are capable of fully charging in just five minutes. According to the Guardian, the company had already demonstrated its “extreme fast-charging” battery in phones, drones, and scooters, and has raised some $130m to date through investments from companies like Daimler, BP, and Samsung.
“The number one barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles is no longer cost, it is range anxiety,” said Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot. “But if the experience of the driver is exactly like fueling [a petrol car], this whole anxiety goes away.”
In order to produce their rapid-charging battery, StoreDot replaced the graphite that is typically used in lithium-ion batteries with semiconductor nanoparticles, which allow ions to pass more quickly and easily. At the moment, these nanoparticles are based on germanium, but Storedot’s plan is to use silicon, which is much cheaper.
While the batteries can be fully charged in five minutes, the charging infrastructure we use today isn’t powerful enough to do just that. However, StoreDot is aiming to deliver 100 miles of charge in five minutes using the existing charging infrastructure by 2025.
“The bottleneck to extra-fast charging is no longer the battery,” said Myersdorf.
Myersdorf is right. Now that super fast-charging batteries are on the verge of hitting the market, what we need now is for charging stations and the grids that supply them to be upgraded. Only then can we eliminate range anxiety and make a complete transition to an all-electric future.