Cars > Electric

Polestar and StoreDot demonstrate 370kW rapid EV charging

They achieved 10% to 80% in just 10 minutes

The Polestar 5 will be launched in 2025. PHOTO FROM POLESTAR

Remember StoreDot? We wrote about the Israeli startup a few months ago and featured how their battery-charging tech is aiming to drastically reduce the time it takes to refill your EV.

Now, the firm and the automaker Polestar have teamed up to try the tech on a Polestar 5 prototype, and it looks like electric pit stops will be just as quick as petrol or diesel ones in the future.

The two companies managed to charge the fully functioning prototype from 10% to 80% in just 10 minutes, with charging rates starting at 310kW and rising to over 370kW.

This was the first time StoreDot’s Extreme Fast Charging (XFC) technology, which uses silicon-dominant cells, was tried out in a real car and not just in a test laboratory. The specially made battery pack has a capacity of 77kWh, and the test was able to add an impressive 320km of range in just 10 minutes.

If the prototype is anything to go by, the Polestar 5 will boast dual motors with a total of 884hp and 900Nm. PHOTO FROM POLESTAR

The biggest issue this new technology solves is the difference in charging speeds that conventional batteries experience.

As every current EV driver will tell you, most of today’s commercial battery packs charge quite quickly when the battery is empty, but the higher the state of charge, the slower the charging speed.

This means charging your empty car starts fast, but then slows down drastically the more the battery gets closer to being full. These new batteries not only charge fast throughout the process, they even increase the charging rate along the way.

This means that, in the future, battery-electric vehicles might be able to charge considerably quicker than now, with the added bonus that these new batteries work with existing DC charging infrastructure.

Now that's a lot of power. PHOTO FROM POLESTAR

That puts the ball back into the court of infrastructure providers that will increasingly have to provide chargers with higher charge rates, which is where the next challenges might emerge.

Chargers with low charge rates, such as 7kW at home or 11kW and 22kW devices like many malls are starting to offer, are relatively cheap and easy to install.

Once you venture into DC fast-charging territory, costs and infrastructure demands quickly rise, and adding a 350kW charger anywhere requires a lot of planning and funding. Hopefully, having this new battery tech will spur more growth in this area, and we’ll all soon recharge our cars in mere minutes.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.