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Friday, Jun 21, 2024

Irvine Site of Battery Research for StoreDot

StoreDot, an Israel-based company developing extreme fast-charging battery technology for electric vehicles, says its U.S. research center in Irvine is a key part of a plan to start mass-producing the highly sought-after cells by next year.

The local site is headed by StoreDot’s global chief science officer, David Lee, and includes five employees, four of them with Ph.D.s.

“We chose Irvine because it has access to a wealth of talent in the West Coast of the U.S., and to also strengthen our relationship with U.S.-headquartered electric vehicle manufacturers,” StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf told the Business Journal.

StoreDot plans the delivery of mass-produced battery cells—which can provide 100 miles of range after a five-minute charge—by 2024. By 2028, it expects to up the capabilities to 100 miles in three minutes, and 100 miles in two minutes by 2032.

“Our lab facility in Irvine will be used to speed up our development of battery material research,” Lee told the Business Journal.

Lee and his team work in tandem with the 130 people in StoreDot’s headquarters in Herzliya, Israel.

$200M+ in Funds

The company said earlier this month it had signed a strategic partnership agreement with Illinois-based component maker Flex-N-Gate, an automotive component manufacturer, to scale up the commercialization of StoreDot’s battery cells.

More OC growth is in the plan for StoreDot and its silicon-dominant batteries.

“We are actively looking to grow this team, hiring an additional 10 people per year,” Lee said.

Its current facility is at 5270 California Ave. in UCI Research Park at the Cove innovation center, though it’s renovating a new space that will serve as its permanent facility at 32 Discovery. That site will run nearly 6,000 square feet.

“We will move into the permanent lab at the end of this year,” according to Lee.
StoreDot has raised more than $200 million in four rounds to date.

Revenue Ramp Up

StoreDot’s strategic investors and partners include Daimler, BP PLC, Vietnamese upstart EV carmaker VinFast, Volvo Cars, Polestar, Ola Electric, Samsung and TDK.

StoreDot announced on Sept. 28 it had signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Volvo cars to develop cells for next-generation electric vehicles.

Reports over the summer indicated Elon Musk’s Tesla EV company has been exploring StoreDot’s extreme fast-charging batteries.

Myersdorf declined to comment on any possible deal with Tesla.

“What we can tell you is that 15 leading OEMS from Europe, Asia and the US, as well as several of our eco system partners, are now testing our battery cells in real-world conditions,” Myersdorf said.

He said he expects revenue to ramp up in 2026 “once we move to mass production.”

Battery Pack

Orange County has become a hub for vehicle electrification, including EV maker Rivian Automotive Inc. (RIVN) and Karma Automotive, both based in Irvine.

The area’s also home to notable fast-charging battery developers, such as Irvine’s Enevate, which is expanding into a 125,000 square-foot facility in the city.

StoreDot’s Lee previously worked for Enevate as its director of research and engineering.
Bob Kruse, the CEO of Irvine-based Enevate, said in June he expects the company’s technology will be in batteries made for e-bikes and motorcycles by the end of this year, with batteries to power cars following at a later stage.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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