It’s happening again! Another one of many companies (StoreDot) has claimed to invent a charger and battery that can recharge in under 2 minutes. This time, it is a smartphone battery. I’m not saying that these technologies aren’t real, because they are, but there are obstacles impeding commercialization, and I think it is safe to say that researchers have gotten much better at making batteries (especially lithium-ion batteries). Over the past 4 years, researchers have discovered many ways to make lithium-ion batteries recharge in under 2 minutes (the best one was 20 seconds).
If some of these battery technologies never make it to the commercialization stage, I won’t consider them a failure. They are still a major step forward for mankind. Why? Researchers learned something new from them, and not only that, but those research projects will be documented and improved upon in the future, leading to other improved technologies. What may be a failure now could be powering electric vehicles across the entire United States, or even across Europe!
Fast charge time is not just a convenience. It is of paramount importance to electric vehicles because it enables drivers to replenish their range quickly enough to continue their trips. If hours are required per recharge, it rules out trips which exceed their electric vehicles’ range. If it is under two minutes, they can simply recharge whenever necessary and traverse an entire continent if they wish (even if the range is only 100 miles per charge!). This could eliminate range anxiety.
According to Doron Mysersdorf, the StoreDot CEO: ‘This is not trivial, it took us a lot of research. This is a design that is trying to achieve something that was not the goal before. Nobody thought about giving you less energy, everybody thought about giving you more energy’. There is another catch: He said this battery may add $50 to the cost of a Samsung Galaxy S5 and reduce its runtime to 5 hours. $50 is worth being able to have the phone fully charged once again after a quick trip to the bathroom, or after having a sandwich. This is just as helpful, if not more helpful than longer battery life.