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What’s in StoreDot?

Release date:
15 July 2020
bp-backed battery developer StoreDot has been named a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Pioneer for its impact on ultra-fast charging technology. We take a closer look at the centre where it developed battery technology that can charge an electric vehicle (EV) in just five minutes 

Need for speed

A hundred-plus scientists analyse and develop different materials and processes that have the potential to enhance the charging speeds of lithium-ion batteries at StoreDot’s R&D centre, in Herzliya, Israel. This centre plays a key role in the development of the company’s ultra-fast charging (UFC) lithium-ion battery capable of recharging in five minutes.   

Compound interest

It’s painstaking work. The widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) hinges on optimizing the performance of the batteries that power them – which means finding new materials, fast. Here, a PhD technologist synthesizes organic proprietary compounds that will be used as a coating for anode nano particles, a key component in the R&D process.

Raw materials

One of the biggest challenges facing battery developers is the lack of a sustainable supply of materials. Today’s batteries are based on lithium-ion, but with limited reserves of both lithium and cobalt, identifying alternative materials is a priority. This picture shows electrodes being prepared for electronic microscope analysis.

Why it matters

bp ventures invested $20 million in StoreDot in 2018 as part of bp's work to support the rapid adoption of EVs.

Roy Williamson heads bp's advanced mobility unit. He said: “We want to create the fastest and most convenient network of charging options, for people to use at home or on the go, and working with StoreDot will help us to realize that ambition. We are now working towards scaling the technology.”

Performance testing

Although StoreDot UFC batteries still use lithium-ion chemistry, StoreDot has changed the anodes from the more typically used graphite to a combination of nano-size metalloids, such as silicon, germanium and tin. Specialized organic compounds are then added to both the anode and electrolyte to protect the metalloids and enhance performance. These pictures show the performance of different materials being tested as both coin (above) and pouch (left) cells.   

Tipping the scale

The scientists at StoreDot’s R&D facility also look at how to scale-up the UFC technology to mass production. Designing more desirable EV batteries is not just a question of chemistry. To increase adoption rates of EVs, StoreDot’s CEO, Dr Doron Myersdorf, says it is necessary to reduce battery costs to around $70-80 per kWh, down from the $120 per kWh it is today.

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