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StoreDot says its battery gave an electric scooter full charge in just five minutes.

StoreDot

Israel’s StoreDot is making major headway in its bid to charge up devices in a matter of minutes with new battery technology.

The Herzliya-based start-up’s lithium-ion battery on Tuesday managed to recharge an electric scooter from Spanish firm Torrot in just five minutes.

It completed the demonstration alongside oil major BP, a strategic backer of the company. The companies claim this is the first time an electric two-wheeler has been charged in such a short amount of time.

“What we are demonstrating with the scooter is the capability of the technology,” Doron Myersdorf, StoreDot’s CEO, told CNBC in an interview Tuesday.

Myersdorf added it’s the first time the company has showed off five-minute charging with a battery pack containing so many cells — this one contains 168 in total.

In addition to BP, StoreDot also counts Mercedes owner Daimler and tech giant Samsung as investors. It previously attracted headlines with its cell phone battery which, again, boasts five-minute charging.

“We are developing a new generation of lithium-ion batteries,” said Myersdorf. “More specifically, we are eliminating the use of graphite in the battery.”

The company’s chief explained that the reason behind taking graphite out of the equation is that the mineral doesn’t work as well at charging devices quickly.

Instead, the firm is using materials like tin, germanium and silicon in combination with organic compounds that it claims are a better solution for lithium-ion batteries than the cells used in most consumer electronics currently.

‘First step’

StoreDot finds itself in a heated race with a multitude of companies looking to address the problem of slow recharging times for electric vehicles.

Porsche recently unveiled an electric car that can add 60 miles of range from a four-minute charge, while start-ups including Sila Nanotechnologies and QuantumScape are also trying to shake up the battery market.

StoreDot’s latest demo is the “first step” toward eventually charging electric cars and even trucks at super-fast speeds, Myersdorf said. It’s looking to demo five-minute charging with Mercedes cars in a year’s time.

The firm expects five-minute smartphone and power bank charging to be available in the second half of 2020, while fast charging for electric cars likely won’t come onto the market until 2023, StoreDot’s boss said.

It’s also looking to set up a battery-making plant similar to Tesla’s Gigafactory, called OneGiga. Myserdorf said StoreDot is currently in talks with U.S. authorities to work out an ideal location for the facility.

Companies like BP and Daimler have had to wake up to the slow-burning shift toward electrification, as global pressure to prioritize clean energy over fossil fuels ramps up amid concerns over climate change.

“Electric vehicles will play a major role in the future of road transport, and that’s why BP is investing in technology and infrastructure,” said Jon Salked, technology director at BP’s advanced mobility unit.

“Electrification presents exciting opportunities for businesses like BP and we see possibilities to expand and complement our business offerings.”

WATCH: We went inside Tesla’s Gigafactory. Here’s what it looked like

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Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz to step down in June 2020

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Carolyn Wilkins, senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, left, and Stephen Poloz, governor of the Bank of Canada, leave the Bank of Canada building for a press conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018.

Justin Tang | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz will step down when his mandate expires next June, the bank said on Friday, and the front-runner in the race to take his place could become the first woman to head the country’s central bank.

Many economists and market strategists surveyed by Reuters this week said Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins could be his successor.

Poloz, who is in the final year of a seven-year term, will not seek a reappointment and a process to select the next governor has begun, the bank’s board of directors said in a statement.

The board of directors oversees the selection process of a new governor, but the finance minister and the prime minister have the final say.

Poloz said that during his tenure the bank had “created the conditions for steady economic growth, low unemployment, and inflation close to target through very challenging times,” according to the statement.

Unlike some of its global peers, Canada’s inflation rate is near the central bank’s 2% target. The Bank of Canada has held its overnight interest rate steady since October 2018, even as several of its counterparts, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, have eased.

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Kudlow says a trade deal with China is ‘close’ amid ‘intense’ talks

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Larry Kudlow, White House National Economic Council director, said the U.S. and China are “close” to a trade deal but that the administration was prepared to walk away if it did not get the terms they wanted.

“The president has said many times if the deal is no good, if the assurances with respects to preventing future thefts, if the enforcement procedure is no good he has said we will not go for it. We will walk away,” Kudlow said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Friday. “The president has said that if we can not get the enforcement and the assurances, then we will not go forward.”

The two countries are in talks to finalize a so-called phase one trade deal as 15% tariffs on $165 billion in Chinese imports are set to kick in Dec. 15. Kudlow said the two sides are moving closer to a deal.

“The deal is close. It’s probably even closer than in mid-November,” Kudlow said. “Deputy level met again … The reality is constructive talks, almost daily talks. We are in fact close…There’s no arbitrary deadlines, but the fact remains December 15 is a very important date with respect to a no go or go on tariffs.”

Kudlow characterized the recent talks between the world’s two largest economies as “intense.”

“I say intense because this is a very important matter,” Kudlow said. “There’s so much at stakes here when you go through the various categories… We can’t afford, we must not permit any country, China or whoever, to willy nilly steal our breakthroughs in technology and advanced micro-processing related to 5G.”

Trump said on Thursday that trade talks with Beijing were going “very well.” He added that something could happen regarding those tariffs that are set to be imposed in less than 10 days, but added they are not discussing that yet.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday the U.S. and China still haven’t reached a consensus on the amount of agriculture goods that China would buy.

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Oil on track for weekly gain as OPEC+ set to confirm supply cut

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A truck used to carry sand for fracking is washed in a truck stop in Odessa, Texas.

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Oil prices fell on Friday, but were set for weekly gains ahead of the OPEC+ meeting which kicked off Friday in Vienna.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia – a grouping known as OPEC+ – agreed on Thursday to more output cuts to avert oversupply as economic growth stagnates amid the U.S.-China trade war.

But OPEC stopped short of pledging action beyond March and analysts have questioned the impact of the latest curbs.

Brent futures were down 18 cents at $63.21, but are set to rise 1.5% on the week.

West Texas Intermediate oil futures fell 33 cents to $58.10 a barrel. They are set to rise nearly 6% on the week.

The cuts next year will expand the existing agreement by an extra 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) reduction in the first quarter next year, through tighter compliance and some adjustments. OPEC’s current agreement is a supply cut of 1.2 million bpd and the increased amount represents about 1.7% of global oil output.

“If we were to have an outcome of an extension of cuts with only the official quota of the OPEC+ group being reviewed lower (the 500,000 bpd), rather than actual production, then the change in supply policy would be cosmetic (given below target production in some countries, notably Saudi Arabia and Angola),” said Harry Tchilinguirian, global oil strategist at BNP Paribas.

OPEC is likely to shoulder 340,000 bpd in fresh cuts and non-OPEC producers an extra 160,000 bpd, one source said on Friday.

Any price gains from the OPEC+ output cut are likely to benefit American producers not party to any supply curbing agreement. American drillers have been breaking production records even as they cut the number of oil rigs in operation, filling gaps in global supplies.

“North American shale supply will continue growing even in an environment with lower oil prices,” Rystad Energy said in a note.

Higher oil prices are also supporting the initial public offering of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, which priced its shares on Thursday at the top of an indicated range.

The sale was the world’s biggest initial public offering (IPO), beating Alibaba Group Holdings’ $25 billion listing in 2014, but fell short of a $2 trillion valuation for Aramco sought by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Foreign investors stayed away and the sale was restricted to Saudi individuals and regional investors.

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