StoreDot, a pioneer of extreme fast charging (XFC) battery technology for electric vehicles (EVs), has announced a new framework agreement with its strategic battery manufacturing partner EVE Energy (EVE) to support the commercialisation of it’s silicon-dominant anode XFC FlashBattery for EVs. The first samples will be available later this year, with a plan for mass production via conventional lithium-ion battery manufacturing lines in 2024.
EVE, which is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, is one of the top tier suppliers of EV and electricity storage system (ESS) batteries in China. The scope of the new framework agreement includes scale-up activities of StoreDot’s XFC technology, followed by the production of engineering samples targeted at showcasing the technology to EV clients. The framework agreement also covers the intention to set up a joint venture for mass production.
The new deal builds on the existing framework agreement signed by StoreDot and EVE Energy in 2018 to collaborate on a small form factor of StoreDot’s XFC technology. In 2019, this XFC battery was used to demonstrate the world’s first full live charge of a two-wheeled EV in just 5 minutes (see video). In January 2021, another major milestone was reached when StoreDot released the first engineering samples of the small form factor produced at EVE Energy’s facility in China.
Dr. Doron Myersdorf, StoreDot’s CEO, comments, “Securing sufficient production capability is one of the biggest challenges facing any introduction of a new battery technology to market. However, from day one EVE Energy has shared our vision that XFC is fundamental to accelerate EV adoption and eventually achieve a full transition to electric mobility. EVE’s expert technical knowledge has been instrumental in helping us to reach a number of important milestones including, most recently, the launch of the small form factor XFC samples produced on standard lithium-ion battery manufacturing lines. Importantly, this removed a major barrier to achieving full commercialisation of XFC technology by eliminating the need to invest in costly bespoke manufacturing equipment for mass production.”
Myersdorf continues, “Our silicon-dominant anode battery in large form factor represents the next crucial stage of our journey by bringing the charging speed, cost and range of XFC batteries in-line with the goals of the EV industry. These capabilities will be demonstrated later this year via our EV samples produced with EVE Energy.”
Dr. Liu Jincheng, EVE’s Chairman of the Board, says, “The potential of the XFC battery is tremendous and we look forward to continuing to work together to make this technology a commercial reality.”
StoreDot’s XFC FlashBattery technology aims to take EV charging times from hours to minutes. This is achieved primarily by replacing graphite in the cell’s anode with metalloid nano-particles, such as silicon, to overcome issues in safety, cycle life and cell swelling during the charging process.
But will compatible vehicles and charging infrastructure be feasible? Here’s my very rough calculation: a 5-minute full recharge of a 100-kWh battery would demand 1.2 megawatts of charging capacity. That’s going to be some meaty charger. Moreover even upping the charger voltage to 1,000V you’ll be drawing 1,200A, so the charger cables are going to need a pair of conductors of (say) 4 square centimetres cross section. And cars would need to be engineered with DC charging circuits to match.
I put these points to StoreDot in 2019 and they pointed me to Chargepoint’s website which talks about “up to 500 kW” Express Plus charging using the CCS Type 2 connector, although as far as I know CCS2 goes nowhere near that rating yet and when those kinds of powers are achieved they are going to need thousand-volt water-cooled charging cables with thermal sensing on the plug because of the risk of overheated contacts.