This could make electric cars truly practical


#1

…or maybe not.

An Israeli tech company, StoreDot, has developed a new technology for rechargeable batteries that utilizes a proprietary blend of amino acids in place of some of the lithium. In the process, they have managed to reduce recharging times for cellphones to 60 seconds, instead of the usual 90 minutes.

As their next trick, they are working on applying this technology to electric car batteries, and they claim that it will enable people to store enough energy for a 150 mile drive in about 5 minutes. If this becomes reality, it could make electric cars much more practical for more consumers.


Accord V6 bites the dust
#2

Strange story. What they are selling is a new organic battery that can be charged quickly, yet the story seems to say that they have a new charger that (implied) will charge batteries faster.

The big advantage they don’t mention is that they don’t use dangerous materials like lithium.

But anyway, if this is true and practical, it will revolutionize the electric car field.


#3

“What they are selling is a new organic battery that can be charged quickly, yet the story seems to say that they have a new charger that (implied) will charge batteries faster.”

The article about the company in Business Week clearly states that they are producing new-technology batteries, even though the article that I linked doesn’t mention it. Additionally, the BW article states that the batteries can withstand 2,000 charge cycles, which is about 4 times the number of charge cycles for current lithium batteries.

“The big advantage they don’t mention is that they don’t use dangerous materials like lithium.”

Yes, I see this as a big advantage of their technology, but I don’t believe that they have done away with lithium. It appears that they have replaced some/part of the normal lithium with their own amino acid blend.


#4

This is what the battery powered vehicle industry has been waiting for. If it actually works…I’m going to buy an electric vehicle…a truck if I can find one. I owned a CitiCar for a while back in the early 70’s but had to sell it because of my young wife. She called it a golf cart and the man that bought it from me used it as such on the base golf course.


#5

Whether this one pans out or not, I remain optimistic that there will be a breakthrough in battery technology in the near future that will make EVs truly usable AND affordable. Now that Tesla has developed the ability to control heat in battery matrices and proven that EVs can be viable, and has breathed life into the EV market segment, it’s almost inevitable. That’s the beauty of the capitalist system. If an opportunity develops, someone somewhere will find a way to meet it.


#6

How in the world can you cram that much energy that fast?Sounds kinda dangerous to me,but if its true,may help things considerably.


#7

You have a point, for a cell phone, the currents would have to be hundreds of amps, and the wires and connectors can’t handle that current.

Guessing, the cell phone battery could be 5 watt-hours of energy storage. that means to charge in 30 seconds, you would need a power level of:
5 watt-hour x 3600 sec/hour x 1/30sec = 600 watts. If the battery is 3.7 volts, that is a current of 160 amps. This is impossible for a small battery to handle. The contacts would melt.

For an auto to charge in 5 minutes, with a battery capacity of 6 amp-hour, which at 290 volts is 1.8 kW-hour, you need: 1800 watt-hour x 60 min/hr x 1/5min = 22000 watts.

For a 240 volt household outlet to deliver that power, it has to be rated at 22000/240 = 90 amps. Possible, although for more efficiency, you should use a 208 or 416 volt 3-phase line. The latter, with a full wave bridge, would deliver about 580 volts DC at 40 amps. Again, possible, although you would need a new electric service put in. But the charger electronics would have to be able to handle that voltage and current to regulate the charge level to the battery.


#8

Yep, no way normal circuits (120 or 240 V) could charge a car that fast. I will wait to see if this idea actually works. Many haven’t.


#9

I think one possible path to fast battery recharging is to develop a battery with liquid electrodes.
To recharge the battery the spent electrodes (two fluids) are drained out and fresh fluid pumped in.
The spent fluid would ideally be rejuvenated with an electric current in some kind of stationary charging cell.
Charging cells could be located at home or at “gas stations”.
There would be a 4 port quick connect to quickly do the fluid exchange.
Since a driver would normally exchange fluids before they are completely depleted there would need to be some way of quickly analyzing the old fluid and give credit for its remaining value at a commercial station.


#10

I might be missing something here, but Tesla batteries come in 60 kWh or 85 kWh How much amp draw would it take to charge that battery on a 240 volt single phase house current in 5 min?


#11

“That’s the beauty of the capitalist system. If an opportunity develops, someone somewhere will find a way to meet it.”

Yep, and that’s the problem with investing a couple billion in a new battery plant just to have someone come along and make it obsolete. That’s why we sometimes go a little slower than some would like with new technology.


#12

Can’t wait for this technology to hit the market. Fossil fuels will be gone, finally.


#13

60 kWh or 85 kWh How much amp draw would it take to charge that battery on a 240 volt single phase house current in 5 min?

dimensional analysis:
85 kW-hour x 60 min/hour x 1/5min = 1020 kW (1.02 MW)
I = P/V = 1020 kW / 240 = 4.35 kA = 4350 amps


#14

Certainly the lead acid and lithium batteries will be replaced by something better in time, looking forward to it!


#15

"Yep, and that’s the problem with investing a couple billion in a new battery plant just to have someone come along and make it obsolete. "

…and that is why Warren Buffett (one of my personal heroes) will not usually invest in technology-based companies.

In his annual report to shareholders, he mentions that he always has a couple of billion $$ set aside for the next purchase, and he urges people to come forward with proposals if they are serious about a buy-out. He says, “don’t talk to me about technology, because I won’t understand it”, but I think that the sly old fox is purposely under-stating his own capacity to comprehend these things, and–in reality–is not interested in investing in something could be supplanted by…the next big thing.


#16

I think the biggest hurdle in electric cars is charging time. One way I can see making charging time equivalent to filling up a gas car would be to significantly increasing the battery and charging voltage. Thats how utility companies can feed so much power on relatively small transmission lines. Could you see yourself charging your electric car at a charging station plugging a 10,000 volt connector to your car for a couple min to fully charge it? Not sure the potential safety problems that could happen with a 10,000 volt electrified battery in the car. It could be bad


#17

The 10 kV would be run through a DC-DC converter (internal to the car) to reduce it to the several hundred volts that the battery needs.

But in a dedicated charger, 200 amps is surely practical, AWG 0 can easily handle that. And at 1000 volts would be 200 kW, which would charge an 85 kW-hour battery in:
85 kW-hour / 200 kW = 0.4 hour = 25 min. A bit high… but usually the battery will be at least 1/4 charged already, so this reduces to 19 minutes.

Going to 2000 volts gets you 9 minutes.

1kV or 2kV DC-DC converters are a lot cheaper than 10 kV ones.


#18

1 KV or 10 KV to a house? Not gonna happen.


#19

A Tesla owner wrote a comment to the nocamels article. He said it would take 8160 kilowatts of continuous power to charge his Tesla in 30 seconds. If that is extended to 5 minutes, it would require 816 kW. If the current super chargers (150 kW) are used, it would take about a half hour.


#20

@RobS11
"Can’t wait for this technology to hit the market. Fossil fuels will be gone, finally."

Am I missing something? Fossil fuel gone as soon as these babies hit the market? Where are we going to get all of the electricity needed to recharge these batteries? Do we have enough solar and hydro generation available?

Sign me up for a practical electric car. I would like to eliminate 80 or 90 percent of the moving parts in my current means of transportation, not to mention the advantages of a motor at each wheel, but I look at this as a slow evolution to eliminating fossil fuel and that has already begun.

I’m an old-tech guy. Enlighten me, please.

CSA