Electric cars have come a long way, but slow charge times still threaten mass adoption.
Take a classic combustion-engine car to a gas station and you will maybe spend three minutes at the pump. Electric cars, however, take at least 30 minutes to charge a meaningful amount. That thirty-minute time frame is also a generous estimate that really only applies to Tesla vehicles, which can juice up faster thanks to the company’s Supercharger network.
Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, is now taking steps to eliminate that problem and compete with Tesla on a more enjoyable charging experience.
The German automaker announced Thursday that it led a $60 million investment in StoreDot, an Israel-based startup, that says it’s building a battery that could recharge in just five minutes. Samsung Ventures and Norma Investments also contributed to the $60 million funding round.
“Humans don’t like any form of discomfort in terms of changing their habits,” Marc Llistosella, Head of Daimler Trucks Asia, said in an interview with Business Insider. “When you ask a customer to wait 30, 40 minutes for charging… They don’t like it. Nobody likes it.”
StoreDot is developing FlashBattery, a replacement for traditional lithium-ion batteries that it says uses “new organic compounds combined with nanomaterials” to improve charge times.
Naturally, the strategic partnership is still in its early days. But if Daimler does build a car that can charge in just a few minutes, it will be a game-changer in the electric car space.