Thursday, Polestar held a big event announcing various plans for the electric car brand. One of the particularly interesting announcements was that it and Israeli battery start-up company StoreDot have made big strides in their ultra-fast charging battery technology. In fact, Polestar will show a running Polestar 5 prototype with StoreDot’s batteries sometime in 2024.
In case you haven’t heard about StoreDot, the company has been around for a number of years. We even reported on it way back in 2017. Polestar only just started investing in the company last year. And its promise of incredible charging is the draw. StoreDot claims their technology could allow an electric car to get 100 miles of range in just 5 minutes. And in photos of the prototype Polestar battery packs, stickers tout the ability to charge from 10% to 80% in just 10 minutes.
The additional appeal of StoreDot’s batteries is that they still use fairly conventional liquid electrolyte battery technology, rather than going to solid-state designs. But instead of current lithium-ion batteries using graphite-based electrodes, StoreDot has been focusing on silicon-based electrodes, more specifically the anodes in the batteries. Also, while we’re expecting the Polestar prototype to use batteries with nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) chemistry, StoreDot suggests on its own site that their silicon-based anode design could be used on lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries. Those types of batteries will be appearing soon on Fords, Chevys and Toyotas, among others, as they’re long-lived and affordable, albeit not as energy-dense or as resistant to ambient temperatures as NMC batteries. StoreDot believes its anode design would also improve the energy density of LFP batteries.
Presumably, this prototype will be a part of Polestar’s testing to see how these batteries work in the real world, and how to make it work on a production level. It’s hard to say how close to production the batteries could be, since this is just a prototype, and there could be lots of development left to do. But the appeal of charging times not much longer than filling up at a gas station is strong, and it could be a great option or bridge to solid-state battery technology.