BP Ventures has invested $20 million in Israel-based ultra-fast charging battery developer StoreDot. (Earlier post.) StoreDot has developed a lithium ion-based battery technology which enables ultra-fast charging for the mobile and industrial markets. Using this technology, StoreDot is also developing a new type of electric-car battery that will aim to achieve a charging experience that is comparable to the time spent to refuel a traditional car. StoreDot currently expects first sales of its flash batteries for mobile devices as early as 2019.
The EV flash battery enables full charge in 5 minutes, providing up to 300 miles (480 km) of driving distance, depending on the model of EV. StoreDot fast charging technology shortens the amount of time drivers have to wait in line to charge their cars, thus also reducing the number of required charging posts in a given charging station.
EV flash battery’s remarkably fast charging rate is achieved due to StoreDot’s novel materials and new battery structure. The electric vehicle will have a pack comprising of hundreds of EV flash battery cells that can store enough energy for a full EV range on a 5-minute charge. For a 300-mile car, this translates to 60 miles of travel range on a 1-minute charge.
StoreDot’s core technology incorporates chemically synthesized organic molecules of non-biological origin. These innovative molecules demonstrate uniquely tunable optical and electrochemical properties, which allow for enhanced performance of energy storage devices.
Current Li-ion batteries contain inorganic compounds in the battery’s cathode, typically comprising metal oxides or polyanions which are continuously recharged by the insertion of lithium ions. This process limits ionic conductivity, thereby reducing the power density and shortening the battery’s life expectancy. Moreover, the liquid electrolyte used in LiBs is highly volatile and flammable, posing a safety risk to consumers.
Using a unique multifunction electrode (MFE), StoreDot’s FlashBattery combines two benefits of energy storage solutions, incorporating the high-power rapid-charging rate capability with the high-energy storage ability.
This optimized charging ability is achieved through an innovative electrode structure containing proprietary organic polymers with metal oxide compounds of the cathode that trigger the redox reactions. This solution enables ions to flow from a modified anode to a modified cathode at a speed that is much faster than existing technologies. Together with a proprietary separator and electrolyte, this new architecture delivers a high current and low internal resistance, with enhanced energy density and a prolonged battery life.
While some battery manufacturers are able to improve only one of the following properties—capacity, fast-charging or extended battery-life—StoreDot’s novel technology has optimized these three parameters simultaneously, the company says.
In September 2017, Daimler led a third round of financing for StoreDot; the $60M round also included Lucion venture capital and participation of financial institutions from Israel and China, as well as existing investors such as Samsung Ventures and Norma Investments, representing Roman Abramovich. In conjunction with the round, Daimler joined as a strategic partner to accelerate the adoption of the Flash Battery technology to the Electric Vehicles market.
This round of funding focused on the adoption of StoreDot’s fast charging Flash Battery technology to the electric vehicle segment. StoreDot’s Flash Battery technology enables charging any electric vehicle as quick as filling a tank of gas, as it only takes five minutes to reach a full charge that – depending on the battery capacity – can keep the vehicle going for 300 miles or more. StoreDot technology uses advanced nano materials as well as proprietary organic compounds to optimize the charging speed of electric vehicles.
The number of electric vehicles (EVs) worldwide is growing rapidly and BP is working across the supply chain to support the development of the technologies and infrastructure required to support that growth. BP believes that ultra-fast charging will be key in accelerating the adoption of EVs worldwide.
Ultra-fast charging is at the heart of BP’s electrification strategy. StoreDot’s technology shows real potential for car batteries that can charge in the same time it takes to fill a gas tank. With our growing portfolio of charging infrastructure and technologies, we’re excited by our opportunities to develop truly innovative EV customer offers. We are committed to be the fuel provider of choice—no matter what car our customers drive.—Tufan Erginbilgic, chief executive, BP Downstream
BP’s work on advanced mobility and developing fast and convenient EV charging networks, including venturing investments in both StoreDot and Freewire Technologies, supports customers who aim to reduce their emissions through EVs.
BP currently has more than 70 charge points on its retail sites globally. In January 2018, BP invested $5 million in FreeWire Technologies, a manufacturer of mobile EV rapid charging systems. (Earlier post.) On 10 May, BP signed an MOU with China’s NIO Capital to explore opportunities in advanced mobility.