Imagine an electric car battery that charges in only 5 minutes. Now meet StoreDot
Advanced battery developer StoreDot Ltd. announced today that they had succeeded in raising $18 million in their latest round of funding. Investors leading the charge to finance the Israeli company include previous players like Norma Investments Limited on behalf of Roman Abramovich, as well as Singulariteam and Samsung Ventures. Counting this most recent round of funding, the company now sits on a total of $66 million in invested capital.
Having previously entered the market with a cell phone battery capable of fully charging in only 30 seconds, StoreDot has set its sights now on exploding into the Electric Vehicle (EV) market. With the new influx of funds, the company intends to develop the first high speed charging car battery that could serve to revolutionize the industry. In a statement from StoreDot, they have noted that the fresh funds will allow them to expand their hiring and labs for the new business unit.
Searching for speedy solutions
Since their launch in 2012, StoreDot has focused on improving the otherwise dismal battery sector with innovations for faster charging. This past May, StoreDot founder and CEO Dr. Doron Myersdorf spoke with Geektime about the move into the EV market at Microsoft’s Think Next conference, saying that, “StoreDot wishes to expand into the electric car market and become the leader in the race for the fastest charged battery. This step is a part of our move to commercialize our cutting-edge technology, that can change the lives of smartphone users and drivers.”
Last year, StoreDot Ltd. amazed everyone on Think Next stage, yesterday they have done it again! First they showed how to fully charge a cell phone in under 2 minutes onstage, and then they dropped the bomb: charging a CAR in under 5 minutes!Watch Storedot’s CEO, Doron Myersdorf, talks to Geektime גיקטיים about the challenges ahead for the 2016 launch.Keep an eye for Think Next 2016…Read the full article on Geektime- http://bit.ly/1dNovM0
Posted by Microsoft Israel R&D Center on Wednesday, May 6, 2015
The technology works with an array of ~7,000 cells to make an 80KWh battery that is capable of powering nearly 300 miles of driving. In response to the decision to structure multiple smaller batteries together as opposed to building a single unit, Dr. Myersdorf explains that, ”It is typically easier to charge faster and to manage the health of the cells when they are smaller. This is similar technology to what Tesla has done with Panasonic cells.”
While StoreDot is continuing their development for these new batteries, consumers still have a long wait ahead of them before they can get rid of their current gas guzzlers. Dr. Myersdorf expects that the first models using their technology will only come to market after 2020. The company is already in talks with car manufacturers in Europe and China.
As far as the construction and management of the infrastructure that will be necessary for the user of the vehicles on the road, Dr. Myersdorf believes that the responsibility to implement will fall on the local governments and electric companies.
Is the market ripe for EV tech?
StoreDot’s decision to move into the EV field is not without precedent. Companies like Better Place have tried to introduce the concept of an EV to a skeptical public before and ended in failure. Hybrids like the the Prius have grown in popularity, while the fully electric Tesla remains a niche slice of the auto market.
Prices for EVs remain exceedingly high, even with government incentives to help push drivers to the cleaner running vehicles. The fall of oil prices in recent years has also served to decrease the pressure that caused many people to consider moving to an EV.
Dr. Myersdorf is hopeful that a shift has begun that could lower the cost of producing EVs, citing Tesla’s Giga Factory. Still he says, the price of batteries will have to drop by half before they can become a viable product for the mass market.
Recognizing that some drivers may not be convinced that the EVs are on par with the gas powered models, he tells Geektime that, “EVs is a huge opportunity as the pain of adoption is very real. The range anxiety of the drivers is a true barrier for adoption. StoreDot’s vision is that the charging experience should be the same as fueling, but with no fumes!”
Do they have the spark?
The move towards change in the auto market is always slow. The reasons for this range from slow government regulations, public perceptions, and the challenge of overhauling a massive industry. Very few things are as personal to consumers as their car and making a change does not come easy.
However, there is no denying that the future will be in Electric Vehicles, and there is no doubt that the development that StoreDot is pushing forward will be an integral part of making this a reality. And we have confidence in them: They won in the Geek Award‘s best Israeli hardware startup category. By helping to remove barriers like long charging times, they are bringing us one step closer to making this a reality.