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Disrupting the Disruption: Ultra-Fast EV Charging on the Horizon

by Edward Sanchez | Sep 09, 2022

StoreDOT EV Battery Cell
Earlier this week, battery technology company StoreDot announced that it was shipping its 30Ah pouch cells to selected OEM and development partners for evaluation for future production vehicles. The company is aiming for an ultra-fast (by current standards) 100 miles of added range in just five minutes, with an ultimate goal of 100 miles in just three minutes by 2028, and two minutes by the end of the decade. 

If the company can meet these goals, we could very well be looking at fueling-time parity with internal combustion vehicles within a decade, the long-anticipated end game which many believe will usher in the "iPhone moment" with EVs when the last remaining obstacle for purchase consideration tumbles. 

Of course, there are many other variables at play than simply hypothetical charging times. Even if battery cells have the hypothetical capability of ultra-fast charging, if the public fast-charging infrastructure remains clunky, unreliable, and inconsistent, widespread adoption and public enthusiasm will remain elusive. 

The other peripheral, but nonetheless significant area ultra-fast charging could effect is in-vehicle entertainment. Currently, Tesla and Stellantis are the only OEMs that offer a comprehensive selection of streaming apps for front-row occupants. BMW offers Amazon Fire TV in the rear seat of its new 7 Series equipped with the 31-inch Theater Display. The assumption of 30-minute to one hour of "dwell time" while fast charging is no longer a given. 

Businesses building a model around the "dwell time" inherent in current EV charging should keep a close eye on developments in this space, as soon, the expected 30+ minutes could be reduced to 10 or less, suddenly making the prospect of watching a full 30-minute episode of a TV show or sitcom while charging a less desirable proposition for a paid subscription service, or a platform for serving advertising.

Of course, lab tests don't always necessarily or immediately correlate to real-world results. And even StoreDot's optimistic projections give this technology a 5-8 year runway until prime time. So for the near-term, the "car-as-theater" concept is still valid. But once fast charging routinely becomes a sub 10-minute proposition, the assumption that drivers or passengers will be stranded for an extended period looking for something to do may no longer be a valid hypothesis. For a deeper dive on this topic, please take a look at "In-Car Video 2022 – Video Takes a Front Seat" available to subscribers of Strategy Analytics' Automotive Infotainment and Telematics service
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