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Vietnamese electric vehicle maker invests in Israeli fast-charging battery developer

StoreDot says it is raising $80 million to support R&D operations, launch production of battery cells that can recharge in 10 minutes

Ricky Ben-David is The Times of Israel’s Tech Israel editor and reporter.

StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf. (StoreDot)
StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf. (StoreDot)

StoreDot, an Israeli developer of extreme fast-charging (XFC) battery technology for electric vehicles (EVs), is raising an $80 million investment round led by Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast, the company said this week.

StoreDot recently unveiled what it called the “world’s first” silicon-dominant battery prototype capable of recharging in just 10 minutes.

VinFast is the vehicle maker branch of Vietnamese conglomerate VinGroup, which operates in a number of fields including real estate, hospitality, retail, and healthcare. VinFast said in a statement that it plans to deploy StoreDot’s XFC battery tech in future EV manufacturing. The company currently has three electric car models and plans to release two more later this year.

StoreDot said the fresh capital will be used to support the establishment of an R&D hub in California, in addition to its Israel-based headquarters, as it prepares to launch mass production in 2024.

The battery tech has been in development for three years and is backed by 12 patents in cell design, software, and a self-repairing system that allows batteries to regenerate while in use.

Founded in 2012, Herzliya-based StoreDot has been developing lithium ion-based battery technologies, using nanomaterials and organic and inorganic compounds, that enable ultra-fast charging for the mobile and industrial markets. The process redefines the chemistry of conventional lithium-ion batteries, taking electric vehicle charging times from hours to minutes, the company says.

StoreDot’s new 4680 cylindrical battery cells for electric vehicles can be recharged in just 10 minutes, the company said in September 2021. (StoreDot)

This breakthrough is achieved primarily by replacing graphite in the cell’s anode with metalloid nanoparticles, such as silicon, to overcome major issues in safety, cycle life and cell swelling during the charging process.

StoreDot has been working with strategic investors such as BP Ventures, the venture arm of the British multinational oil and gas firm BP plc, Daimler AG, the maker of the Mercedes Benz cars, Japanese electronic multinational TDK, and Samsung Ventures, to move ahead with its technologies.

The company’s CEO, Dr. Doron Myersdorf said the funding was a vote of confidence in StoreDot’s technology aimed at solving some of the biggest barriers to mass EV adoption: range anxiety — a concern among drivers that the battery will run out of power before they can get to their destination — and charging time.

“We are now properly funded to take our silicon-dominant XFC cells to the end of the R&D phase and into scale-up in readiness for mass production in 2024 for global vehicle manufacturers. It will help overcome the major barrier to EV ownership – charging times – providing a 50% reduction, and, ultimately, helping us all achieve a zero-emissions, clean world,” Myersdorf said in a statement Tuesday.

StoreDot is also working on extreme energy density (XED) solid-state technologies that will allow for longer battery operability and hopes to enter mass production in 2028.

It said it was in advanced talks with additional global carmakers to integrate its XFC technology into future vehicle models.

In 2019, StoreDot used its XFC technology to demonstrate full live charge of a two-wheeled electric vehicle in five minutes. A year later, it demonstrated a five-minute charge of a commercial drone. The company also previously demonstrated ultra-fast charging times for phones and scooters.

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