As cold weather hit North America this winter, electric vehicle drivers found it was taking about 20 minutes longer to charge their cars and needed to be done more often.
“The batteries don’t take that care in the cold weather. If you’re in 70 degree, southern California all the time, hey, no problem. But when you go into the real world or further north, where it’s cold, you end up reducing your range significantly,” Stephen Deschenes of Schweitzer’s Automotive in Eugene, Oregon, told KEZI 9 News, the local ABC television station. .
As sales of electric vehicles – or EVs – take off, keeping the battery at a constant temperature is not just a matter of convenience. Getting too hot or too cold greatly reduces a battery’s efficiency and useful life, reducing the value of the vehicle and adding to the environmental blight of used batteries.
Colder weather doesn’t just shorten a car’s range in particular – it can significantly extend charging time.
Carrar, an Israeli startup located in an industrial park in Sderot, near the Gaza border, has developed a patented thermal management system for EV batteries, the EV powertrain and in-vehicle computers. Carrar’s immersion technology provides rapid cooling at low pressure, ensuring that the components remain at a uniform, stable temperature regardless of the ambient conditions, whether in Alaska or Dubai.
“Daimler invented the cooling system used today 120 years ago – a water radiator up front,” says Avinoam Rubinstain, CEO of Carrar. “It was very good for cooling internal combustion engines that operate at 100 degrees centigrade and more, but modern battery technology requires the temperature to be around 25 degrees centigrade.”
“In Israel, the air temperature is often 30 degrees, and the internal temperature in the battery is 45 degrees. If that continues for a long time, battery performance is cut in half and battery life is reduced even faster,” Rubinstain said at the recent OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem.
“We are finding cars where the batteries end after a few years, which means the car can no longer be used because the cost of the battery is higher than the value of the car after a few years. This is a big cost of ownership issue that needs to be resolved,” he says.
“We provide a solution that can keep the battery at the right temperature as needed to ensure that you can use the batteries for their entire life, which is over 10 years,” says Rubinstain, a serial entrepreneur whose company Atrica has been acquired by Nokia. Siemens Networks for a reported $100 million.
Carrar’s patented two-stage thermal management system leverages the physical phenomenon of latent heat when a liquid turns to vapor. It dissipates heat, cooling the battery very quickly using very little energy – all within a lightweight, low pressure system.
Carrar technology dynamically adjusts the heat dissipation to the external conditions, ensuring a constant battery temperature regardless of charging, acceleration or climate. The proprietary system enables ultrafast charging, in 5 minutes or less, which cannot be achieved with any other cooling method.
By efficiently and uniformly cooling battery cells, the system extends battery life and lowers the risk of thermal runaway and proliferation – the main safety concern in electric vehicles.
Carrar works with materials that support environmental and sustainability regulations, and with all types of batteries and electric vehicles.
The company has partnered with some of the world’s largest car manufacturers.
“We have a vision of a greener planet with no fossil fuel emissions, where electric vehicles of all types can be used reliably anywhere in the world, including the coldest and hottest climates,” says Rubinstain. “Our aim is to facilitate greater adoption of electric vehicles.”
Gentherm, a global developer of thermal management solutions based in Northville, Michigan, was among the Seed investors in Carrar, which also includes NextGear Ventures and NextLeap Ventures. Jerusalem-based OurCrow is leading a new round of investment.
“The electric vehicle market is growing rapidly and there is a need to develop safe, fast and reliable solutions to solve the challenges our customers face,” says Phil Eyler, President and CEO of Gentherm. “We see potential opportunities with Carrar’s innovation to help expand our Battery Performance Solutions portfolio with technology that can improve EV safety, performance and charging speed while helping to accelerate EV adoption.”
For more information about Carrar’s current investment round on the OurCrowd platform, click HERE.