Super fast EV charging solution secures BP Venture investment

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Israeli battery and display developer Storedot has received a $20 million investment from British oil giant BP. Storedot claims its organic compound based batteries are safer and more environmentally friendly than the commonly used Li-ion batteries. Storedot’s battery solution is still in the development phase but the developer says once it is ready for commercialization, it will charge in five minutes and provide a driving range of 300km.

Dr Doron Myerdorf, co-founder and CEO of Storedot, said: “Working closely together with a global energy leader is a significant milestone in Storedot’s direction of strengthening the EV ultra-fast charging ecosystem. The combination of BP’s impressive presence and Storedot’s ecosystem of EV partnerships enables faster implementation of ultra-fast charging stations, and could allow a better charging experience for drivers.”

A mobile device version of the battery technology, capable of charging smartphones in 60 seconds, is set to be ready for commercialization in 2019, the company adds.

The cash injection follows BP’s investment in British renewable energy company Lightsource in December. Between 1981 and 2012 BP ran a solar PV subsidiary, BP Solar, but closed shop six years ago due to financial difficulties, after sales in the sector plummeted in 2010.

BP says its move to re-establish a foothold in the renewable energy and electric mobility sectors is part of a broader agenda to lower its carbon emissions, as well as developing new products, businesses and services that will allow customers to reduce their carbon footprint.

David Gilmour, Vice President for Business Development at BP Ventures, said: “The technology to support EVs is advancing rapidly and BP Ventures is committed to identifying and investing in companies that we believe are at the cutting edge of this industry. Storedot has shown significant progress in the development of ultra-fast charging, both in mobile phone and vehicle applications. BP looks forward to working alongside [it], as an investor and strategic partner, to bring [its] technology from the lab to the vehicle.”

BP also made a $5 million investment into Freewire technologies, another supplier of fast charging solutions for EV batteries, and at the beginning of May BP and Chinese EV manufacturer NIO signed a memorandum of understanding to join forces for the exploration of opportunities in advanced mobility.

The British company is one of many oil giants and energy utilities that is looking to startups for sustainable and renewable energy solutions. French Total, Norwegian Statoil (now Equinor) and Dutch-British Shell are peers of BP that have been enlarging their renewable energy portfolios in recent years, although the latter has come under fire from activist investors for what they deem the unambitious scale of its climate change commitments.