Israeli startup StoreDot claims it has a battery that can charge completely under 5 minutes. As expected, there’s a lot of pressure on QuantumScape.
The stock price of QuantumScape Corporation has seen a few major upheavals in the recent past. But investors are justifiably concerned about the extended time window required for a formal launch of QuantumScape’s battery.
Why is StoreDot’s battery considered a threat to QuantumScape?
StoreDot announced this week that it would start offering engineering samples of its new Li-ion battery. Meanwhile, QuantumScape’s Solid-State Batteries could hit the market earliest by 2025.
While this may seem concerning, it is just a small part of the story. In fact, both StoreDot and QuantumScape may be in the business of making Batteries. But there’s a lot more to the tech and application.
— hedge_hawk (@Hedge_Hawk) January 21, 2021
StoreDot has assured that it would start handing out Engineering Samples of its batteries. However, it is important to note that the company is about to send out samples of battery cells that utilize metalloid nanoparticles instead of graphite in the anode.
— The Daily Buzz (@TheDailyBuzz9) January 21, 2021
Meanwhile, QuantumScape’s batteries use a solid material called a solid-state electrolyte. Basically, the company’s solid-state electrolyte eliminates the anode completely.
However, the company hasn’t offered explicit details about how far it still has to go, before commercial-grade, as well as modular, solid-state lithium metal batteries for vehicles, are ready. This is slightly concerning.
— Sniff Out Stocks (@SniffOutStocks) January 21, 2021
StoreDot, on the other hand, will shortly send out its batteries for testing. The company assures its design choice of using metalloid nanoparticles instead of graphite in the anode, significantly boosts the charge efficiency.
Nonetheless, it is important to note that neither of the company’s products is production-ready. Moreover, industries that need large capacity batteries haven’t yet tested either of these products. Only after these batteries are put through rigorous tests that mimic real-life conditions, will a winner emerge.
Comparing StoreDot’s battery tech with QuantumScape’s Solid-State battery:
There are a number of variables that can affect the economic and commercial viability of battery technology. Battery innovations that work in the labs might not take off in the real world.
StoreDot racing ahead with Engineering Samples has a lot to do with relying on pre-existent manufacturing processes and battery fabrication plants. According to the company’s own admission, it is relying on EVE Energy Co., Ltd. and its existing Li-ion production lines.
StoreDot Limited created the battery, which could be a huge breakthrough, allowing electric cars to refuel as fast as cars at a gas station. https://t.co/n9MG39AnV1
— Lern (@lernvsradio) January 21, 2021
This strongly suggests that StoreDot is using standard Lithium-Ion manufacturing, which involves a Cathode, an Anode, and an Electrolyte. The company’s innovation involves tweaking the anode material to boost charge times.
QuantumScape, on the other hand, is promising a Solid-State Battery that completely eliminates the Electrolyte. Moreover, the company’s proposed product also does with the traditional battery layout.
StoreDot Demonstrates ‘5-Minute Charge’ Electric Vehicle Batteries https://t.co/Mrgdmy6c9z
— Server Haven (@ServerHaven) January 21, 2021
In other words, there’s no traditional Anode. From a usability perspective, this design can deliver enhanced energy density. Anode-free battery design typically involves the deposition of lithium ions on the anode current collector which forms a temporary anode that disintegrates during the discharge process.
Excited to share that the cells we showed at the Battery Showcase (12/8/2020) continue to cycle and have now exceeded 1,000 cycles (over 1,100)! This corresponds to over 300,000 miles for a 300-mile battery pack and over 500,000 miles for a 500-mile battery pack. pic.twitter.com/UZl2jtD7qa
— QuantumScape (@QuantumScapeCo) January 8, 2021
Such a design reportedly delivers superior energy density. What’s even more important is that eliminating traditional liquid or gel-based electrolyte boosts safety.
Incidentally, according to a Twitter thread posted on QuantumScape’s official Twitter account, the company has now completed over 1,100 test cycles of its solid-state battery. This roughly translates to real-life usage of 300,000 miles for a 300-mile battery pack and 500,000 miles for a 500-mile battery pack.
Interestingly, QuantumScape claims that its battery has retained over 80 percent of its capacity. This translates to a Coulombic Efficiency (CE) (ratio of charge extracted to charge pushed in) of over 99.991 percent.