A key part of reducing climate change is to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Electric Vehicles (EVs) are at the center of that work. But issues around range limits, speed of charging, cost issues and safety still exist. Fortunately, companies including Carrar – with solid breakthrough from Israeli climate experts and engineers – offer solutions.
I had a chance to interview Avinoam Rubinstain, CEO of Carrar — a provider of innovative Two Phase cooling solution for the Automotive Industry. He is an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience building highly successful high-tech companies. He was the founder and CEO of Atrica, the leading carrier ethernet company acquired by Nokia Siemens Networks. Previously he served as a VP/GM at 3Com, was co-founder and CEO of my6sense, a SaaS-based AI company, and founded NiceCom, a subsidiary of NICE Systems, one of Israel’s first startup exits. Rubinstain was awarded a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, where he also completed the course work for an MA in Electrical Engineering.
JLM: What is the specific problem that you/your company is trying to solve?
AR: Governments and consumers require vehicle manufacturers to deliver electric vehicles (EVs). Worldwide adoption of EVs, however, is hindered by four major obstacles, all stemming from the inability to keep the temperature of EV batteries stable.
1. A short battery lifetime requiring potential replacement after 4-6 years instead of 8-12 years is caused by the micro damage caused to batteries by heat spikes resulting from acceleration, hot and cold weather, and charging cycles.
2. A long battery charging time limits the distribution of EVs to customers with private parking and those that enjoy a short driving range from the charging point.
3. The high total cost of owning a car due to the short battery life impedes a secondhand market for electric vehicles.
4. Safety issues arise mainly from thermal runaways and fires that are hard to contain and extinguish.
Carrar aims to solve these significant challenges by developing and producing battery modules with a thermal management system that always keeps EV batteries at a stable optimal temperature.
How do you solve it?
Carrar’s battery thermal management system uses a patented, highly effective two-phase immersion pool boiling technology.
Carrar leverages the physical phenomenon of latent heat when a liquid turns to gas to achieve highly effective heat dissipation. Carrar dissipates heat uniformly across the battery cells and within the cells, which lowers the chance of a thermal runaway and the resulting fires.
Carrar also adjusts heat dissipation (i.e., boiling) to external heat fluctuations, such as parking on a hot day, ultrafast charging and acceleration, and freezing/hot climates, so the battery always stays at the optimal temperature range.
The Carrar system dissipates heat more than twice as fast as standard thermal management solutions for electric vehicles in a system requiring less energy, and less pressure, so its parts are smaller, weigh less, and drive longer range.
Why is solving this problem important? Why should others care?
Carrar encourages the use of electric vehicles:
1. Carrar doubles battery life, lowering the total cost of EV ownership.
2. EVs become cheaper, so many more people can buy them.
3. It also enables a second-hand market for EVs because they last longer.
4. Enabling to charge the electric car within five minutes also encourages people to own EVs.
5. Carrar lowers the incidence of battery fires.
Carrar also contributes to global sustainability not only by encouraging EV ownership but also by lowering the footprint of EV lithium-ion batteries:
1. The batteries last twice as long, so you need to produce half the batteries, decreasing mining for rare minerals and highly polluting manufacturing
2. Batteries reach afterlife (when they cannot be used in cars anymore but can be used for energy storage for other purposes) in a better shape and can work longer.
What proof/studies show that your solution has potential/works?
We have done repeated tests and projects with variety of leading OEMs (car manufacturers) and Tier-1 companies (automotive component vendors). The tests, conducted with OEM engineering teams according to the OEM protocols, have repeatedly shown superb results.
How do you go about doing this?
We have the largest battery modules/pack civilian lab in Israel, with battery testing chambers that can hold whole cars.
What have been some of your biggest successes?
We signed co-development agreements with leading car manufacturers and Tier-1 companies worldwide. We also signed agreements with two world-leading companies, Gentherm and Roechling, to integrate their technology and components in our solution.
With any startup, there are times when you hit a brick wall. Can you give us an example and how you pivoted to do something that worked better?
We had situations that we term “too good to be true syndrome,” where a global car manufacturer dismissed our solution as a testing mistake. To overcome this, we purchased our state-of-the-art testing lab and conducted both in-house and independent testing. This testing also enabled us to improve our product.
As you move ahead, are you looking for partners? Where and how can others help?
Yes. We are looking for manufacturing partners and go-to-market partners.
What is your advice for other people who are just getting their start on climate issues?
Focus on one specific problem of your target market and target these problems regarding offering and message.
If folks want to know more about your company, how where can they find information or connect?
They are welcome to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, look at our website, and write to us directly at email@example.com. To invest see www.ourcrowd.com/companies/carrar