Flex-N-Gate, StoreDot collaborate on fast-charging battery cell technology
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Batteries
Oct 30, 2023
Mehanaz Yakub

The agreement will see the companies scale up the commercialization of StoreDot battery cells at the Flex-N-Gate plant in Windsor, Ont.

Photo: StoreDot

The agreement will see the companies scale up the commercialization of StoreDot battery cells at the Flex-N-Gate plant in Windsor, Ont.

Battery developer, StoreDot is joining forces with Flex-N-Gate, a global automotive component manufacturer, to scale “extreme fast charging” (XFC) battery technology in Windsor, Ont.

StoreDot is an Israeli startup that has developed “100in5” battery technology. The name, the company says, reflects the recharge stats of their EV battery: five minutes for 100 miles (or 160 km) of range.

Photo of Dr. Doron Myersdorf StoreDot CEO
Doron Myersdorf, CEO, StoreDot. Photo: StoreDot.

“The 100in5 really solves the number one barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles, which is the range and charging anxiety,” says Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot, in an interview with Electric Autonomy. “In order to solve that, we need to change the chemistry of the battery. We cannot continue to use the traditional lithium-ion battery.”

StoreDot’s approach involves replacing the graphite in the anode of a lithium-ion battery cell with nano-sized silicon particles.

“We are also introducing some of our proprietary polymer additives and conductive additives and leveraging AI technology,” says Myersdorf.

“So there is a holistic solution that enables, not only better energy density but extreme fast charging technology. This is really considered a significant breakthrough for the industry. This is something that was considered impossible to do. We feel really fortunate that we are in this groundbreaking situation where we can present a solution that really changes the game when it comes to fast charging.”

Partnership with Flex-N-Gate

StoreDot’s collaboration will leverage the capabilities of Flex-N-Gate’s Flex-lon lithium-ion cell pilot factory in Windsor to produce samples of the 100in5 battery cells.

“At the beginning, it will be mostly samples — what is called A-Sample production. [The battery] is still not in the final form factor that will go into the vehicle, but it is sufficient for EV testing capabilities,” says Myersdorf.

Up until recently, StoreDot has been using solely soft case pouch cell designs for its XFC batteries. However, with the help of Flex-N-Gate, they will now produce hard case prismatic cells.

“It looks like there is a trend in the market to shift to prismatic,” explains Myersdorf. Prismatic cells are also a better fit for American car manufacturers, he adds.

StoreDot and Flex-N-Gate will work with North American automakers to develop cells tailored to their needs.

“Producing extreme fast charging battery cells at giga-scale is a key competitive requirement in the electric vehicle industry,” says Guido Benvenuto, Flex-N-Gate vice president of global sales, in a press statement.

“Applying our mass production manufacturing expertise to StoreDot’s cutting-edge technologies will create an ideal framework to establish world-class cell manufacturing facilities.”

Mass production strategy

Earlier this year, StoreDot announced it is localizing its battery cell supply chain in three markets: U.S., Asia and Europe.

Instead of building its own production facilities, StoreDot wants to utilize existing and future battery factories to “serve its OEM customers in their own locations, reducing carbon impact, and enabling just-in-time production efficiency.”

“I want production agreements to be in place wherever a vehicle is being produced,” says Myersdorf. “We need these agreements of mass production in order to be able to scale up quickly the technology in different locations.”

At Flex-N-Gate plant, mass production of the 100in5 XFC batteries for North American customers will commence early next year. Production will ramp up in 2025. These batteries could be available in late 2025 or early 2026 EV models, says Myersdorf.

“This will be a significant and rewarding development as the Americas transition to electrified mobility,” adds Benvenuto.

StoreDot’s global partners

Flex-N-Gate is not StoreDot’s only strategic partner.

In 2022, the startup secured investments and formed strategic agreements with notable EV manufacturers, including Vinfast, Polestar and Volvo.

Through Polestar’s agreement with StoreDot, the Swedish EV automakers says it will investigate building StoreDot’s technology into future Polestar cars.

“If our current pilot projects with StoreDot are successful, we could see these solutions being implemented in Polestar cars by 2026,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar’s CEO, in a press release from May 2022.

Earlier this year, StoreDot gave sample cells to 15 automakers to test them in real-world conditions for six months.

“The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive,” said StoreDot in a press statement. “Some OEM partners have already progressed to phase two of the testing programs, which involves the initiation of B-Samples programs tailored to their own form factor and specific requirements, enabling future implementation in each OEM EV architecture.”

One of these OEM partners is Volvo Cars. In September 2023, StoreDot signed a multi-year contract with Volvo Cars to develop a battery tailored to their future EVs.

The first samples from this collaboration could undergo testing next year.

“There is a lot of work to be done but the opportunities to develop exciting new charging technologies together are huge. We can’t wait to see the fruits of our work being tested in the real world,” says Javier Varela, COO & deputy CEO of Volvo, in a press statement.

StoreDot’s global strategic investors and partners also include Daimler, BP, Ola Electric, Samsung, TDK Corporation and EVE Energy.

StoreDot’s “blue sky” plans

As StoreDot’s 100in5 battery goes into mass production in 2024, the company hopes to produce three more battery technology generations.

The “100in4” battery cell will ideally provide 100 miles (160km) of range in four minutes of charging. It is already in production at StoreDot’s research and development laboratory in California. And there are plans for full-scale mass production to start by 2026.

“[The 100in4] is still based on silicon, but it has a new generation of cathode,” explains Myersdorf. “Silicon is in the anode, which is the negative side of the battery. But we also work on the cathode side, moving from the traditional NMC 811 — which is what we currently use — to the next generations of cathode.”

Looking further ahead, StoreDot wants to develop a semi-solid-state “100in3” battery cell. The intention is to provide 100 miles of charge in three minutes.

“The 100in3 is becoming more and more challenging, because new materials need to be introduced,” says Myersdorf. “This is why we call it a semi-solid solution, where we’ll have some elements of solid state, like a new generation of an electrolyte that is more of a gel type with some polymer separators that we developed.”

The 100in3 requires further research by StoreDot, but the company wants to have it ready for mass production by 2028.

Lastly, the battery developers are exploring the concept of a “100in2” battery cell.

“We still don’t fully know how we’ll implement it, but the “100in2″ cell, I believe, is the best [that] can be achieved. This will bring you into an experience that is even better than fuelling,” says Myersdorf.

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