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Xtreme Fast Charging could revolutionise the EV

 Published 7th December 2023
Driver Guides  Electric Vehicles 

Even if you haven’t taken the plunge yourself, there’s no denying the rise of the EV. Every year, the DVLA’s registration figures show that more and more of us are making the switch to an electric alternative to the traditional internal combustion engine. We understand that, for reasons of time, mileage, or a lack of infrastructure, an EV isn’t always an option for everyone. That may be about to change thanks to a new collaboration between StoreDot and Polestar to introduce Xtreme Fast Charging to the motoring world.

And that probably means absolutely nothing to you. So let us explain.

You may already know that Polestar is Volvo’s electric brand, and that they’ve already introduced a couple of stylish and desirable EVs to the UK. What you’re less likely to know is that Polestar has also invested heavily in StoreDot, a world-leading pioneer of extreme fast charging (XFC) battery technology for electric vehicles. The result of this collaboration is hopefully a massive leap forward in battery technology that makes driving an EV the most obvious choice for everyone.

StoreDot has already unveiled its '100inX' strategic technology roadmap, outlining three planned generations of extreme fast charging (XFC) electric vehicle batteries that overcome the main barriers to mainstream EV uptake, namely range and charging anxiety.

The company has already revolutionised the conventional Li-ion battery using a mix of chemistry and AI technology which, to be honest, is a bit beyond our limited understanding. What we do understand, however, is that it claims this technology will enable you to charge an EV in under 10 minutes – similar to the sort of time it currently takes to refuel a conventional combustion engine car if you include queuing to pay.

Through its '100inX' roadmap, StoreDot's battery technology is aiming to deliver ‘Range on Demand’ charging of 100 miles charged in five minutes in 2024, 100 miles charged in three minutes by 2028, and extreme energy-dense batteries capable of charging 100 miles in just two minutes by 2032.

The two companies have now advanced their collaboration and are working to demonstrate production-ready XFC technology in a Polestar 5 prototype vehicle.

This stage of the collaboration is focused on engineering design and cooling that should see 100 miles of range charged in just five minutes and can be integrated into battery pack formats that are already available. Polestar is aiming to be the first automotive company to showcase the new extreme fast charging battery cells in a full-scale, driveable prototype.

Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, says: “StoreDot is making huge strides forward in the development of their extreme fast charging technology and we are a proud investor and partner in its evolution. StoreDot’s pioneering extreme fast charging batteries, combined with our upcoming top-of-the-line electric powertrain, can revolutionise the ownership experience for EV owners with the ability to recharge in minutes.”

We’re not there yet, but it’s coming.

The stumbling block of wider EV adoption always centres around the batteries. They haven’t been ‘energy dense’ enough to make an electric car a viable option for everyone. If you live in a town with lots of charging points, have access to a drive or garage where you can charge overnight, or don’t do a lot of regular miles then leasing an EV is probably the best option for both your pocket and the environment. Likewise, if you don’t mind stopping for an hour on a long journey then charging times aren’t likely to put you off either. For the rest of us, an EV just hasn’t been an option when compared with the range of a regular car and the ease with which a fuel tank can be refilled.

XFC technology could be about to change all of that.

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