Volvo invests in ‘five-minute charging’ electric-vehicle technology

22 April 2022

fast charging

Volvo Cars has made an investment in StoreDot, a company developing extreme fast-charging battery technology for electric cars.

Through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, the Swedish carmaker will bring the Israeli company into its battery-technology joint venture established with Northvolt last year. Through its investment, Volvo has secured any technology developed through this arrangement.

By working together with Volvo Cars, StoreDot aims to accelerate the time to market its technology as it targets mass production by 2024. Volvo Cars is the first premium car maker to invest in StoreDot.

Revolutionary charging

StoreDot is working on technology which, according to the company, should result in batteries that can charge to offer 160km of electric range in just five minutes. This would help to revolutionise the automotive industry. One perceived barrier to entry for many drivers to the electric-vehicle (EV) market is the time it takes to charge a car. Unlike petrol and diesel cars, which can refuel in a matter of minutes, many EVs require at least 30 minutes stationary and plugged-in charging to receive a useable range.

Therefore, carmakers are looking at technology that can greatly reduce this charging time. StoreDot announced last year that it was developing fast-charging systems. Its battery development is centred around silicon-dominant anode technology and related software integration.

With Volvo planning to become an exclusively electric-car  brand by 2030, its investment in StoreDot allows it to break a barrier to entry. The technology company’s ambitions align with the Swedish carmaker, helping them to develop vehicles with a longer range, quicker charging times, and lower costs.

‘We aim to be the fastest transformer in our industry and the Tech Fund plays a crucial role in establishing partnerships with future technology leaders,’ said Alexander Petrofski, head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. ‘Our investment in StoreDot perfectly fits that mindset and their commitment to electrification and carbon-free mobility matches our own.’

Electric ambitions

Volvo’s plans for electrification include its joint venture with battery manufacturer Northvolt, which will focus on the development and production of battery cells. These will be tailor-made for future Volvo and Polestar electric cars.

As part of the approximately 30 billion SEK (€2.9 billion) investment in the joint venture, both companies are establishing a joint research and development (R&D) centre and a battery-manufacturing plant in the Gothenburg area in Sweden. Together, the facilities will create over 3,000 new jobs.

In coming years, Volvo plans to roll out a whole new family of pure-electric cars, as part of its ambition to become a climate-neutral company by 2040.

StoreDot’s own ambitions are creating interest in the automotive industry as well. In March, the company announced it had secured a ‘multi-million-dollar’ investment from India-based manufacturer Orla Electric. This funding will be used for research and development, and to scale up production of its fast-charging EV batteries. The Israeli company used its first batch of sample cells to highlight the potential of its technology in January last year. It first demonstrated the full charge of a two-wheeled EV in just five minutes using its technology in 2019.

‘The future of EVs lies in better, faster, and high-energy density batteries, capable of rapid charging and delivering higher range,’ said Bhavish Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Ola Electric. ‘Our partnership with StoreDot, a pioneer of extreme fast-charging battery technologies, is of strategic importance.’