Will The Arrival of Five-Minute Charging Pave the Way For Mass Electric Vehicle Adoption?

  • Electric vehicles are a key part of the movement to tackle the climate crisis.
  • StoreDot’s movements in developing fast-charging batteries in the coming years could be a significant help.
  • The UK is still struggling to make charging accessible to much of the country.

Batteries that have the power to charge electric vehicles in five minutes have been produced in a factory for the first time. Could this technological leap pave the way for mass EV adoption?

Electric vehicles are a key part of the movement to tackle the climate crisis. However, one of the biggest hurdles to adoption stems from uncertainties surrounding battery life and the time it takes to recharge batteries. The new super-fast charging lithium-ion batteries have been developed by Israeli company StoreDot and manufactured by Eve Energy in China on standard production lines.

StoreDot has plenty of form when it comes to extremely fast-charging batteries in devices like phones, drones, and scooters, and the 1,000 eclectic vehicle batteries it’s produced demonstrate the company’s ability to transfer its powerful technology to larger entities. With the financial backing of major industry players like Daimler, BP, Samsung, and TDK, StoreDot has been named a Bloomberg New Energy Finance Pioneer and has raised $130 million at the time of writing.

The batteries themselves can be fully charged in five minutes, but it will be dependent on the development of more significantly more powerful chargers than what we have today. With the current charging infrastructure, StoreDot intends to deliver 100 miles of charge to a car battery in five minutes by 2025.

StoreDot’s movements in developing fast-charging batteries in the coming years could be a significant help for the UK in achieving its goal of banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 – a shift that’s wholly dependent on the accessibility of electric vehicles.

What will super-fast electric vehicle batteries mean for mass adoption? And will the UK be ready for a spike in demand for electric vehicles? Let’s take a deeper look into the state of play regarding EV mass adoption:

(Image: Statista)

The Hurdle of Weak Infrastructure

The news of StoreDot’s super-fast charging batteries comes as The Department for Transport has pledged to make it easier for drivers to top up an electric car than their petrol or diesel counterparts in the future.

To facilitate this, it has been proposed that contactless payment options are installed at charge points, forcing operators to provide 24-hour helplines for drivers and making location data, power rating, and price information more accessible.

It was also announced that small businesses and those in leaseholds and rented accommodation can receive bursaries to install electric vehicle charging stations on site. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) will be able to offer up to £350 towards the installation of a charge point.

However, despite there being clear incentives in place for the accommodation of EV charging points, the UK is still struggling to make charging accessible to much of the country – especially in Northern Ireland and much of northern England.

Although schemes are in place to increase the installation rate of charging points in the UK, there may need to be an effort to accelerate this process at a faster pace.

“As we race towards the phase-out of sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, we need to accelerate the expansion of the electric vehicle charging network,” explained SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes.

“An electric vehicle revolution will need the home and workplace installations this announcement will encourage, but also a massive increase in on-street public charging and rapid charge points on our strategic road network.”

The Tipping Point of Mass Adoption

While there are clearly some hurdles still to address, electric vehicles are closing in on the ‘tipping point’ of rapid mass adoption. This progression towards mass adoption stems from the falling price of EV batteries.

The global sales of electric vehicles soared by 43% in 2020, but further sustained growth is anticipated when the falling price of EV battery prices drop below that of similar petrol and diesel models. Currently, this shift is expected to occur at some point between 2023 and 2025.

However, in some countries, the tipping point of mass adoption has already passed. In Norway, where tax breaks have made electric vehicles even cheaper, the market share of battery-powered cars has risen to 54% in the past year – far eclipsing the 5% share of most European nations.

(Image: Carplus)

Cost-Effective Driving

While the falling costs of batteries have signified an economic tipping point that can result in mass adoption, there are many more incentives that may make more drivers buy into EVs at a faster pace.

Recently, Natwest announced that it would be teaming up with Octopus Energy to offer dedicated electric vehicle charging and technology bundles to the bank’s retail, business, and wealth customers as a means of accelerating the twitch to zero-emission vehicles.

The new package has been designed to offer customers access to discounted electric vehicle charging points and installations, as well as any associated home solar panels and battery storage.

This, alongside the capital allowances and car finance incentives that can be offered to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles means that the tipping point for mass adoption may come sooner than the existing 2023-2025 estimates.

With electric vehicles offering a convenient solution in the fight against the climate crisis, making EVs accessible and financially viable may well be a significant step towards a more sustainable ecosystem.

Dmytro Spilka

Dmytro is a CEO at Solvid and founder of Pridicto. His work has been published in Shopify, IBM, Entrepreneur, BuzzSumo, Campaign Monitor and Tech Radar.

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