Daimler Trucks Invests In StoreDot To Charge As Quickly As Filling A Tank Of Gas

2 months ago by Mark Kane 32

Daimler Trucks has started a strategic partnership with Israeli nanotechnology materials pioneer StoreDot, a company that promises ultra-fast charging in just minutes.

FUSO eCanter

The German manufacturer recently led a $60 million funding round for StoreDot, which also included some Chinese banks, as well as an existing investor – Samsung Ventures.

Seems everybody is interested in the 5-minute fillup for 300 miles (480 km) these days.

According to the Daimler, “StoreDot demonstrated the viability of a concept for five-minute charging of vehicle batteries, showcasing how its new organic compounds combined with nanomaterials are implemented in the battery cell. StoreDot’s new batteries are currently in an advanced stage of development, and are expected to be integrated into electric vehicles that are now in their design phase.”

While on the subject, we probably should note that the 82.8 kWh battery found in the FUSO eCanter would need a 1 MW charging station to charge in 5-minutes.  Just saying.

The StoreDot batteries will be tested in future-generation FUSO eCanter prototypes.

“Daimler AG’s Trucks division is investing in the Israeli company StoreDot Ltd. as part of their financing round. A representative from Daimler will be appointed to StoreDot’s Board of Directors. The Tel Aviv-based company founded in 2012 is a nanotechnology materials pioneer and one of the leading companies for electric charging and energy-storage materials.

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.”

Martin Daum, Member of Daimler’s Board of Management with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses:

“Electrification of trucks is of top priority at Daimler. Today’s global launch in New York City of the FUSO eCanter, the world’s first series-produced all-electric light-duty truck, provides impressive proof of our strive for bringing electric vehicles for everyday use to the market. Fast charging is an important topic especially for fleet owners of all Daimler Trucks brands. Together with StoreDot we will now jointly work on a holistic approach to fast charging.”

Dr. Doron Myersdorf, Co-Founder and CEO of StoreDot:

“Having Daimler, a world leader in the automotive field, as a strategic partner is of significant value to StoreDot. It will accelerate the completion of our development process and the introduction of FlashBattery to the market. Together with Daimler teams, we create synergies that optimize the characteristics of our innovative solutions with the requirements of the electric vehicles of the future.”

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32 responses to "Daimler Trucks Invests In StoreDot To Charge As Quickly As Filling A Tank Of Gas"

  1. Willy Leavitt says:

    If the charging station used the same or similar battery storage and they could discharge at the needed rate into the vehicles then be topped up by on and of grid power sources….

    1. R.S says:

      It’s actually much easier. You have a certain amount of people that want to charge at a certain place in a given hour.

      You could either use 5 super quick chargers, or 20 quick chargers to satisfy the demand for charging. To the grid it’s all the same, as long as the charging station has a certain size.

      Grid buffer of course always helps, too.

      1. SJC says:

        “82.8 kWh battery … would need a 1 MW charging station to charge in 5-minutes”

        No data on battery life charging at 12c.

        1. john doe says:

          Chargers for ferries are that powerfull.
          And some of them are wireless.

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            Some buses use on the route charging in about 5 minutes or faster. The only problem is that LTO batteries are less dense and expensive.

            As always with batteries, you can choose power, density or cost. But not all 3 together.

            And this one isn’t the first or last startup promising pie in the sky and even getting money from automakers. Envia was another famous one.

        2. R.S says:

          To the grid there is no difference between 25 120kW chargers and 3 1MW chargers. And in terms of cost the 3 1MW chargers might actually be cheaper.

          And I think there is data, just not available to us. As is most battery longevity data, to be honest.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “To the grid there is no difference between 25 120kW chargers and 3 1MW chargers. And in terms of cost the 3 1MW chargers might actually be cheaper.”

            Thanks! That’s an interesting perspective; I had never thought of it that way.

            Building EVs that can charge at 1MW or 1.5MW will be more expensive, but I think it’s inevitable that will happen, once they’re using batteries capable of being charged that fast. (That’s not to say I expect the tech highlighted in this article will be produced commercially, but solid state batteries probably will be.)

            Competition will drive down charging times, and I can’t see any good reason that will stop until the average charge time is <10 minutes. It may get down to 5 minutes.

          2. Windbourne says:

            actually, to the grid, there is a HUGE difference. The smaller units will be move all around the area. As such, they will pull from different parts of the grid.
            BUT, the bigger issue is that with just 3 1MW pulls, they will likely start/drop quickly.
            Many towns/small cities have 100-200 ME generators. By having the 3x1MW SCs, these will put instant load/drops on the grids.

            With the many smaller units, they will scale up and down slower and will likely put more of a constant load on the grid.

            Basically, the 1 MWs are NOT good for cities. These ARE good for federal highways and well away from cities.
            This would also help develop more electricity in the rural area which is a good thing.

        3. Doggydogworld says:

          12C? You mean 0.08C, right?

          1. SJC says:

            12C means 12 times the capacity. Some cells can discharge at 20C but only charge a 1C.

            1. Doggydogworld says:

              I guess 12C is the inverse of the old c10, c20 measurements. That “c” was the charge (or discharge) time in hours.

              Thanks!

              1. energymatters says:

                C = (Amps of charging/discharging rate) / (AmpHours of Cell)

                1. energymatters says:

                  Grid connection costs for this would be VERY high if drawn direct from grid. $20/KW fixed fee per month ($20,000/mo for 1MW in demand charges alone not counting energy cost) PLUS probably $600K++ in initial install costs not counting actual gear.

  2. R.S says:

    Of course a 5 minute recharge seems extreme now, but if the cells can do it the charger will be the smaller problem.

    And the possibility of a 5 minute recharge, also means a lot less stress at more reasonable 10, or 15 minute charges. The ultimate goal is reducing the stress of fast charging, which leads to either quicker charge rates, or better longevity, or a combination of both.

  3. Ambulator says:

    It’s a bit short of details for me to give this much credit. We’ll see where this goes, eventually.

  4. NBA says:

    Can’t wait for a capacitor to supplement my battery.

    1. NBA says:

      Quick drink capacitors can get you to the next quick charge station for your battery.

  5. Cavaron says:

    “…need a 1 MW charging station to charge in 5-minutes. Just saying…”

    Well, Elon Musk called a 350 kW charger “a childs toy”, didn’t he? 🙂

    1. bogdan says:

      1 MW charging station is not the issue here. Several MW charging power are possible with little to no effort these days.

      12C charge rate is the issue. There is no battery which can handle that charge rate and survive.
      Unless they made a breakthrough in battery technology, which I onestly think they didn’t, they are talking crap again!

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “12C charge rate is the issue. There is no battery which can handle that charge rate and survive.”

        Well, probably no commercially produced battery. But there have been lab demos of batteries which are claimed to charge at 10x or 100x or even 1000x the rate of today’s commercial li-ion batteries.

        It’s not theoretically impossible; it just needs a very, very low resistance in the electrodes.

        http://www.sciencealert.com/this-new-battery-charges-10-times-faster-than-the-one-in-your-smartphone

        https://techcrunch.com/2013/04/18/researchers-build-new-batteries-that-charge-instantly-and-hold-hours-of-juice/

      2. Doggydogworld says:

        Bogdan – Toshiba claims 0-80% in 1 minute for their 2.9 Ah SCiB cells:
        http://www.scib.jp/en/product/cell.htm

        80% charge after 40,000 cycles isn’t too shabby, either!

        SCiB cells are LTO (lithium titanate) and have been available for years. Energy density is low, unfortunately, but they’re useful in some applications.

  6. Jim J Fox says:

    Unless they made a breakthrough in battery technology…

    Isn’t that EXACTLY what the company is claiming- and has demonstrated- ‘Daimler recently led a $60 million funding round for StoreDot, which also included some Chinese banks, as well as an existing investor – Samsung Ventures.’

    These investors don’t think it’s “crap” so why should anyone take notice of your ‘expertise’?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Hmmm, okay, thanks for letting us know that they have done a public demo of their magic battery. Assuming that demo was real and not a sham, then it was unfair of me to put them it the same basket as QuantumScape, which AFAIK has yet to demo a working prototype.

      Good luck to StoreDot! Apparently they have gotten to first base — that is, a public demo of a working prototype.

      Now, let’s see if they can advance to second and/or third base; that would involve getting serious investment money and/or showing they have a reasonable chance of being able to mass produce the magic battery at an affordable price.

      Here’s hoping for a home run! 🙂

  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    VW has QuantumScape, now Daimler has StoreDot; both are using language hinting at using quantum dots for energy storage. Interesting idea in theory, but let’s see them demonstrate a working prototype.

    Both of these startups seem to be merely two more examples of how very close to 100% of claims from high-tech battery startups are mostly or entirely complete and utter B.S.

    1. Doggydogworld says:

      StoreDot has done demos for years:

      StoreDot talks numbers when it comes to recharge rate, but I’ve never seen numbers for energy density, cycle life, cost, etc. That makes me suspiscous of their vague claims about being better in those areas as well.

      The “30 seconds” seems to have become “5 minutes” more recently. Perhaps they’ve had to make tradeoffs to get usable size/weight/cycle life.

      This isn’t a typical “press release” battery breakthrough, and the Daimler investment adds credibility, but they’ve still got a lot to prove before I name them the Next Big Thing.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Okay, fair cop, I was too quick to equate StoreDot with QuantumScape, which AFAIK has never demonstrated a prototype, and looks like a scam.

        On the other hand, in the ~9 years I’ve been following battery tech, I’ve seen scores of claims for laboratory demos of breakthru battery tech, not a single one of which ever lead to the “home run” of a commercial product. The batting average for this field is extremely low. Doing a public demo of the tech gets you to first base, but it’s far from a home run.

  8. Steven says:

    Am I the only person thinking about the heat?

    That’s a lot of energy flowing through one cable in a short period of time.

    1. Doggydogworld says:

      I live in South TX, so I always think about the heat 🙂

      High speed trains run 15 MW (sometimes more) through wires and pantographs. Of course they’re at 25 kV…..

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Am I the only person thinking about the heat?

      “That’s a lot of energy flowing through one cable in a short period of time.”

      It’s not as if dealing with industrial-strength current is anything new, or as if it’s a problem that electrical engineers didn’t solve well over a century ago. Reducing the resistance can be accomplished by merely using a conductor with a larger cross-section.

      The only real problem here is that the traditional method of charging a PEV is to use a flexible cable to connect the car for charging, and once that cable gets too thick, it’s too heavy and stiff to be moved around like a gas station pump’s hose.

      Ultrafast charging may need to use a setup more like what Proterra uses for its 500 kW EV bus chargers; a sliding arm rather than a flexible cable (see schematic linked below).

      Tesla’s interim solution of cooling the cable itself is merely treating the symptom, not eliminating the problem. If the cable is heating up so much that it needs a cooling system, that means the resistance is too high and the charging system is wasting energy because of that resistance.

  9. Scott Franco says:

    The power grid is capable of delivering 1mw in short bursts. People here seem to forget that charging 50kWh battery in 5 minutes vs 1 hour is the same net load on the grid minus the extra power lost in heat.

    As for the heat, it means bigger cables and perhaps water cooling, none of it rocket science.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “As for the heat, it means bigger cables and perhaps water cooling…”

      Or, as Doggydogworld pointed out, they could just increase the voltage. I expect future EVs will indeed use higher voltage, but also thicker cables, wires, and bus bars, and connectors with higher surface area on the contacts. For an example of the latter, Proterra’s 500 mW electric bus charger uses a large blade, not a plug with multiple round pins.

    2. energymatters says:

      Typically this issue gets addressed by going to higher voltages. Heat comes from (I^2) * R losses. The best way to reduce losses (aka heat) is to reduce the current and since W = V * A that means raise the Voltage. So very high voltages mean low current means lower lossses during a charge.

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