Israel-based startup StoreDot has been making waves in the battery world for the past few years.
It has been hard to gauge the credibility of its technology, but it now gets a big thumbs-up from some major players with a new $60 million round of investment to bring their battery tech to production.
Daimler AG’s Trucks division is interested in the technology and confirmed today that it led the investment round.
They wrote in a press release:
“Complementing the investment, both partners have agreed to a strategic partnership that focuses on the field of fast battery charging. StoreDot’s FlashBattery technology enables charging any electric vehicle within minutes, as quickly as filling a tank of gas. Furthermore, FlashBattery’s high efficiency in recuperation is particularly interesting for commercial vehicles; better usage of braking energy increases the range and requires less frequent charging. This results, together with faster charging times, in higher vehicle usage. Both partners will jointly work on tailor-made, integrated technologies, with the future-generation FUSO eCanter as a possible example of application. The possibility of further joint projects, even beyond the Trucks division, is part of both companies’ future discussions.”
Other companies, including Samsung, invested in the new round of funding.
StoreDot describes its battery technology:
“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.”
They claim that their battery system can be fully charged within 5 minutes and enables a range of up to 300 miles (480 km), which generally means a battery pack of over 75 kWh of energy capacity in an average size car.
Here’s a short video:
StoreDot is also leveraging its battery tech for mobile devices with the same fast-charging claims.
Not much else is known about StoreDot’s technology, but the company says that it aims to bring it to mass production at its own facility called ‘OneGiga’ by 2022.
They are planning to build the factory in Shenzhen, China, and they aim for a scalable capacity of 1 to 10 GWh per year.
When it comes to claims of “battery breakthroughs”, it’s extremely difficult to distinguish what has real potential and what is simply PR fluff.
It’s relatively easy to make a battery really good at one thing, like fast-charging, energy density, durability, or low cost, but it’s extremely hard to make a battery good at all those things. And they need to be in order to be viable.
Therefore, we often see claims that a new battery has the highest energy density or is the quickest at fast-charging, but they often fail at one or more of the other important metrics.
It’s why we need to take those claims with a grain of salt.
Though when it comes to StoreDot, at least it looks like they are being taken seriously by Daimler, which is currently in the process of solidifying its battery supply chain in preparation for a major expansion of its electric vehicle business.
Could be a startup to watch in the coming years. What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.