In late November, Chinese lithium-ion battery manufacturer EVE Energy signed a strategic co-operation agreement with Israel-based battery startup StoreDot Ltd to produce fast-charging batteries in China.
Short-term goals between the two parties are twofold – to complete product testing and sample production, and to start small-scale production of ultra-fast-charging batteries. Establishing a joint venture in China will be the long-term goal of the co-operation. The product scope of the co-operation focuses on consumer electronics and electric vehicles.
StoreDot is a leading developer of ultra-fast charging battery technology. The company has developed a patented FlashBattery technology, which is a new generation battery based on proprietary multi-function electrode technology that charges quickly like a super-capacitor but discharges slowly like a battery. StoreDot expects first sales of the flash batteries for mobile devices in 2019. In May, the StoreDot successfully won a US$20M investment from BP Plc, which believes the fast-charging technology is key for accelerating the popularisation of electric vehicles. According to Pitchbook, StoreDot has raised USD$158M from leading investors, including TDK Corporation, Daimler AG, Samsung Ventures.
Established in 2001, the Shenzhen-listed battery maker EVE Energy also won a contract with Daimler AG in August 2018 to provide electric vehicle batteries over the next ten years. Daimler will start building electric vehicles in China from 2019 and aims to have electric versions of all its vehicles available by 2022.
Chinese battery manufacturers are rapidly catching up and aggressively competing for business in the global market. In the past, Chinese producers have been more focussed on pushing volume than improving quality, but there is now an increasing focus on technology and quality; the co-operation between StoreDot and EVE Energy is certainly one example of this. Initially, the two parties will make consumer batteries, before moving into batteries for electric vehicles at a later stage.