StoreDot leads the charge
Wed, 07 Oct 2020
Using current battery technology, a mobility scooter owner can expect to leave their vehicle plugged in overnight to achieve a full charge. This may give the user weeks’ worth of use, but if they find the battery suddenly flat and need to make an urgent trip out, there is little scope for a quick charge, other than leaving it plugged in for half an hour and hoping it does not run out on the way back from the shop.
StoreDot, an Israeli company formed by students of Tel Aviv University, believes it may have the answer to this problem. Founded in 2012, StoreDot specialises in ultra-fast charging batteries. It’s technology utilises electro-chemical properties and nano-materials, optimised for the ultra-fast charging of electric vehicles, mobile phone power banks, drones and other devices that would benefit from shorter charging times.
The first question people tend to ask when they hear the term ‘fast charge’ is, “How fast?”
“Our aim is to be able to charge any electric vehicle within five minutes,” explains StoreDot CEO, Doron Myersdorf. More than just mobility scooters, this will include fully fledged electric cars like Teslas. While the idea might sound pie-in-the-sky, StoreDot is well on the way to achieving this goal, with plans to demonstrate the full charge of a four-wheeled vehicle by the end of next year. Another aim is to fully charge a smartphone battery within 30 seconds, and the company has already successfully demonstrated the full charge of both drone and two-wheeled vehicle batteries in five minutes.
So the technology already exists to charge an electric mobility scooter in as little as five minutes. If this is true, when can users expect to see these batteries readily available? Myersdorf says: “We are in the process of producing 1,000 samples to ship to customers. These are produced in China with our partner EVE Energy, and we hope to get feedback from the customers during Q4. This will take one to two quarters. So,” he concludes, “I think best case will be the middle of 2021, that we will see this on the market.”
However, in that short time, there are a number of hurdles for StoreDot to overcome. Unsurprisingly, the company’s batteries cannot be charged from a normal 230-volt wall socket in the home. Because of the high amount of power needed in a short amount of time, the batteries require something more powerful. When used with drones, for example, StoreDot requires that users buy charging stations, specially made by third-party manufacturers, in order to be able to use its batteries. When it comes to electric vehicles, however, it turns out there is already an infrastructure in place that will allow the charging of the batteries – namely the ever-growing network of electric vehicle charging stations around the world.
“What is different about StoreDot is not the charging, it›s the battery,”