The global push to develop and fund technologies that can help speed up adoption of electric vehicles is creating interesting multinational pairings.
Consider StoreDot, an Israeli energy storage company whose technology, which was developed over nearly eight years, has managed to nab funding from a subsidiary of Vingroup -- the largest private conglomerate in Vietnam.
StoreDot's goal is to bring to market what it calls "extreme fast charging" battery cells within the next two years. While VinFast (Vingroup's EV subsidiary) is trying to flood the U.S. market with its new fleet of electric vehicle offerings.
Fast charging is one of the keys to ensuring that consumers make the jump to electric vehicles -- offering the promise of a similar experience to filling up at a gas station.
If an automaker can solve the charging problem, their vehicles become an instantly more attractive option on the market.
That's one reason why StoreDot has already managed to attract bp ventures (the investment arm of the oil and gas giant bp) and is bringing in VinFast and the Chinese lithium ion battery supplier EVE Energy as investors.
The Israeli company said that the money from these international investors (totaling some $80 million when it finally closes), will be used to complete research and development for its battery cells for electric vehicles and continue progress on its solid state batteries that are still under development.
StoreDot has an R&D center in California that it hopes to build out and expects to reach mass production of its cells by 2024, according to a statement.
"This strategic round of funding, with principal investors coming from leading automotive, energy and technology companies, is a huge vote of confidence in StoreDot, its XFC world-class technology and innovation that are all aimed to solve the [range anxiety] of EV drivers," said StoreDot's chief executive Doron Myersdorf, in a statement.
StoreDot's chief executive claims the company's batteries can reduce high-speed charging times by 50% and provide charging for electric vehicles in about five minutes.
How does it work? According to a breakdown of StoreDot's technology in Ars Technica, the batteries use small silicon nanoparticles and a unique battery structure to ensure that its batteries can store more lithium and don't overheat when charged quickly. Those silicon nanoparticles are held at the electrode with a flexible, self-healing polymer.
Basically, it's taking some research that's been floating around laboratories for years and applying them in novel ways to battery chemistries.
The innovation was compelling enough for Pham Thuy Linh, the deputy CEO at VinFast to buy in to StoreDot's vision.
"Enhancing customer experience is our top priority. We have been making dedicated efforts in research, connecting global intelligence by forming partnerships with and investing in breakthrough technology companies, especially in EV battery such as StoreDot and its extreme fast charging (XFC) proprietary technology," Linh said in a statement. "StoreDot which is led by gifted scientists and experienced entrepreneurs, along with strong support from VinFast and other strategic investors, is believed to gear up for mass production globally in a very near term.”