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10 Israeli startups that are electrifying transport

Israel has become a leader in transportation technology, even though the country has no manufacturers of cars, trains, buses or planes.

But as transportation becomes less and less about wheels and more and more computers inside, Israel’s high-tech prowess has not only become relevant, but also highly sought after.

The most high-profile developments for the future of transportation technology revolve around electrification as we move away from polluting fossil fuels.

In this roundup, we take a look at 10 Israeli startups working to electrify our rides by land and air.

  1. StoreDot

Image of fast-charging battery courtesy of StoreDot

Even with the longer ranges of the latest electric cars, the worry of running out of juice away from a charging station remains one of the biggest concerns for potential EV buyers. How many kilometers are enough to feel comfortable, you will not be stuck? An electric vehicle with a UFC (ultra-fast charging) battery of StoreDot can be “filled” to capacity in just five minutes.

StoreDot replaces the graphite used by other electric battery manufacturers with a blend of metalloids including silicon and proprietary organic compounds synthesized in its laboratories. The company has partnered with BP Ventures to help convert the oil company’s 18,000 service stations to electricity, and with German manufacturer Daimler. In 2020, StoreDot expanded to fast-charging drones. The company raised $130 million.

  1. Addionics

“The structure of batteries hasn’t changed in 30 years,” says Moshiel Biton, CEO of Addionics. So he set out to seize an opportunity he describes as worth “billions of dollars”. Addionics is changing the battery architecture to increase the density of electric batteries by filling the space that until now has not been well used.

The Addionics battery will halve the charging time and increase the range. Photo courtesy of Addionics

While most electric batteries are like a sandwich with the bread serving as the electrical conductor and the cheese as the active ingredient, Addionics incorporates the cheese inside the bread, rather than leaving the cheese only on top, as with batteries current ones that only use traditional 2D. electrodes. This increases charging speed (half the power-up time) and range.

Addionics “smart” electrodes can be easily integrated into existing production lines. It’s not just for cars – Addionics hopes to bring its technology to laptops, medical devices and wearables. Today (January 25), the company announced the closing of a $27 million Series A funding round.

  1. Drivez

No matter how a battery is constructed — using lithium-ion, synthetic metalloids, or nano-powered electrodes — the conductors still have to hook up.

The company’s technology is used by more than one million drivers worldwide. Driivz was founded by parking maven Tsahi Merkur (he owns 100 such lots in Israel) who acquired some of the assets of Israeli electric car pioneer Better Place after the latter went bankrupt in 2013.

In 2016, Driivz became North America’s preferred IT solution provider for EVgo, the largest network of public fast-charging stations in the United States. In December 2021, American supply and equipment company Gilbarco Veeder Root acquired Driivz for $200 million.

  1. REE Automotive

REE flatbed chassis for vehicles of various sizes. Photo courtesy of REE Automotive

While battery technology hasn’t changed in 30 years, the cars themselves are based on concepts that are over 100 years old, says Daniel Barel, CEO of REE Automotive.

REE places the wheels, gears, transmission and motor on a thin, flat platform that looks like a large skateboard. The REE platform is lightweight, making it ideal for electric vehicles, which are already on the road a lot, and can accommodate more batteries in a car, increasing range.

The REE integrated gearbox weighs only 6 kilograms (13 pounds) compared to typical gearboxes that weigh 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and more. The REE platform can be used in a passenger vehicle or a 10 ton truck.

As designing a new vehicle platform can cost billions, this universality has the potential to save REE customers a small fortune. REE has partnerships with major players such as Hitachi and Mitsubishi-Renault-Nissan.

  1. Chakratec

Kinetic Power Booster from Chakratec for charging electric vehicles. Photo: courtesy

Like StoreDot, Chakratec’s mission is to make battery charging faster.

Chakratec’s floating flywheels suspended by magnetic levitation are for the charging station.

CEO Ilan Ben-David compares Chakratec’s kinetic storage technology to a Hanukkah dreidel. “When you put electricity on, the flywheel starts to spin. Since the flywheel is suspended by magnets in a vacuum chamber, there is almost no friction. So the flywheel keeps spinning at the same speed.

The flywheel stores electricity until it’s ready to be transferred to a vehicle – more environmentally friendly than typical charging stations that store electricity from the utility grid in large lithium-ion batteries. “Chakra” is Sanskrit for “spinning wheel”. Chakratec has a partnership with the American company Blink Charging.

  1. ElectrReon

Having to stop and load is so old-school. israeli startup ElectrReon builds electrical infrastructure on the road so cars can charge wirelessly while on the road. ElectrReon installs copper coils under the asphalt and a receiver on the vehicle. A management unit communicates with other vehicles.

The first pilot was launched in 2019 on a 600-meter stretch in Tel Aviv using electric buses from the Dan Bus Company. ElectReon then demonstrated its technology in Sweden with an electric bus and an electric truck. Two more projects – in Karlsruhe, Germany, and along a toll road in Lombardy, Italy – are on the way. TIME named Electreon to its “Best Inventions of 2021” list.

  1. EVR engines

EVR engines hopes to generate revenue with its new electric motor, which is less than half the size and weight of existing state-of-the-art RFPD (radial flux permanent magnet) motors of similar power. The company is currently building dozens of pre-production engines to deliver to customers for evaluation.

EVR Motors aims to license its technology to third parties and set up its own assembly line in Israel to deliver large-scale motors in the second half of 2022. The company will also partner with Tier 1 integrators and car manufacturers.

EVR’s first engine weighs only 9 kilograms (20 pounds). It is air-cooled and low-voltage, delivering twice the power and torque density of other state-of-the-art radial flux motors.

  1. CityTransfomer

You’ve heard of a bike designed for two. How about a small electric car built for one?

In urban environments, where parking is scarce, a CityTransformer will do.

The super small vehicle folds up to take up even less space; four CityTransformers can fit in a single standard parking space. The vehicle has a range of 120 to 180 kilometers (74.5 to 112 miles) and a top speed of 90 kilometers (60 miles) per hour.

Israel Voluntary Emergency Response Organization united hatzalah signed on as a customer, reportedly bought 1,000 CityTransformers in a deal worth $22 million. Passenger vehicles (pre-order price $14,500) are expected to go on sale in 2025.

“More than four billion people currently live in urban areas, and this will only increase in the years to come,” CEO Asaf Formoza said. “People need vehicles for city centers, for narrow streets, for the world of tomorrow.”

  1. AIR

Israeli startup AIR unveiled its Air One “flying car” in October. The two-seater can take off and land vertically. Unlike other VTOL vehicles, which are intended for use as air taxis or emergency response, the Air One is aimed at the private passenger market with a relatively inexpensive price tag of $200,000 per unit.

The AIR ONE personal electric plane. Photo courtesy of AIR

Unlike competitors like Urban Aeronautics CityHawk, which will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells, the Air One will be an all-electric flying car with a range of 100 miles at a top speed of 155 miles per hour. Once AIR receives FAA approval, the company’s CEO, Rani Plaut, hopes to see commercial production as soon as 2024.

The Air One is foldable – it shrinks to about the size of a van. The company is already accepting deposits of $1,000 from enthusiastic early adopters.

  1. Evasion

Photo courtesy of Eviation

Israeli-American startup Evasion has developed an all-electric aircraft, “Alice”, which seats nine plus a pilot and has a range of 440 nautical miles. The first commercial flights could start in 2024.

In 2019, Eviation landed its first customer, Massachusetts-based Cape Air. In 2021, DHL placed an order for 12 Alices as part of its zero emissions plan.

Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay notes that the future of electric planes will mean a quieter environment for residents living near airports. Singapore-based Clermont Group holds a 70% stake in Eviation and supplies the company with electric motors from its MagniX division. TIME put Eviation on its list of the 100 “best inventions” in 2019.