In a flash: StoreDot's new batteries can be recharged in just 5 minutes, but their real-world performance may be limited by the capacity of the chargers they are plugged into | Photo:

Israeli firm launches superfast, 5-minute recharge technology

Israel’s StoreDot Technologies released its first production batch of li-ion EV batteries that it says can be recharged to full capacity in a mere five minutes. The technical breakthrough is part of the firm’s extreme fast charging (XFC) technology and was achieved by replacing the batteries’ traditional graphite-based anodes with semiconductor nano-particles. StoreDot announced that its batteries will heavily feature silicon going forward — which is a much cheaper alternative to graphite — and it demonstrated the technology’s capabilities in 2019 when it recharged an electric two-wheeler to full capacity in under five minutes. 

However, even though the firm claimed it would get rid of customers’ range anxiety, the actual rate of recharging EVs would be limited by the amount of power charging points can pump in at any given point. Also, StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf pointed out that with the batteries retaining only 80% of their charge after 1,000 cycles, their durability is a concern at the moment. 

India: E-bike operator launches two-wheeler exchange programme as EV sales post rapid growth

BLive, India’s electric bike tourism platform, partnered up with CredR (a used two-wheeler brand) to launch an exchange programme for petrol two-wheelers across Delhi NCR, Pune, Jaipur and Bangalore. The programme will offer instant quotes for used petrol two-wheelers based on an evaluation system developed by CredR, and users will receive an electric two-wheeler in return. Both firms are reportedly keen on the partnership as they expect India’s EV sales to do well after the economy recovers from 2020. 

The news comes amidst reports that India’s electric two-wheeler manufacturers are actually experiencing rapid growth in sales. Gurugram-based Okinawa Motors, for instance, is expecting a 200% growth in the short term, Bangalore-based Ultraviolette Automotive is expecting to sell 10,000 units in the next 12 months, and Hero Electric says its sales are 10 times the numbers last year. Interestingly, Hero’s online sales have strengthened “exponentially”, said its director, and an independent study by CEEW has pegged the country’s EV market to grow 200 times by 2030.

E-buses in Andaman and Nicobar, e-taxis in Chile 

The Indian island territory of Andaman and Nicobar added 14 electric buses to its fleet, and they will be powered by electricity from charging stations that are set up by NTPC (under its commercial arm NVVN). The buses are part of the territory’s plan to induct 40 such units into its fleet and are expected to help lower the region’s transport emissions. 

Also, the Chilean government has launched the ‘My Electric Taxi Programme’ to encourage owners of IC engined-taxis to switch to electric taxis — that are built by China’s BYD — in a bid to address the sustainability targets of its transport fleet. The programme will offer up to $11,000 to each owner in co-benefits to make the switch, and the BYD E5, the taxi in question, can reportedly drive for 400km on a single charge. Chile already has a fleet of 455 electric buses and the 50 news taxis to be added would make it the largest e-taxi fleet in Chile.

VW Group lowers new car emissions intensity by 20%

The VW Group reported it has lowered the average CO2 emissions of its new car fleet in the EU by around 20% for 2020 over 2019, and it now stands at 99.8g/km. The reduction is due to the group posting a 400% jump in its EV sales over the past year — led by the ID.3 and Audi e-tron models — and its CEO said the group is on track to becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2050. VW has a target to sell 26 million EVs by 2030 and it will invest around €35 billion in expanding its EV line-up.

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