SoftBank-backed Ola Electric invests in Israeli battery tech firm StoreDot

It’s the first of several global strategic investments planned by Ola Electric as it looks to ramp up its core R&D in advanced cell chemistry & manufacturing and new energy systems


Ola Electric Mobility | Electric Vehicles

Peerzada Abrar  | 

Ola Electric, India’s leading manufacturer of EVs (electric vehicles), has invested in an Israeli battery technology company StoreDot, a pioneer in batteries with extreme fast charging (XFC) technology.

The investment in StoreDot is the first of several global strategic investments planned by Ola Electric as it looks to ramp up its core R&D in advanced cell chemistry & manufacturing as well as other battery technologies and new energy systems. The companies did not reveal the value of the investment.

As part of the investment in StoreDot, Ola Electric will have access to the company’s state of the art XFC battery technology that charges a battery from 0 to 100 per cent in just 5 minutes. Ola will also have exclusive rights to manufacture batteries integrating StoreDot’s fast charge technology in India.

The company plans to set up a gigafactory for manufacturing cells in the country to meet the demand generated by Ola Futurefactory, the world’s largest 2W factory (two-wheeler) and has already submitted a bid under the Government’s PLI (Production Linked Incentive Scheme) scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell Battery Storage.

“We are committed to Mission Electric and to accelerate the world’s transition to electric mobility, our ambition is to build a complete ecosystem for EVs here in India,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Ola. “The future of EVs lies in better, faster and high energy density batteries, capable of rapid charging and delivering higher range.”

He said Ola is increasing its investments in core cell and battery technologies and ramping up our in-house capabilities and global talent hiring, as well as partnering with global companies doing cutting edge work in this field. “Our partnership with StoreDot, a pioneer of extreme fast-charging battery technologies, is of strategic importance and a first of many,” said Aggarwal.

Doron Myersdorf, CEO, StoreDot, said that both companies are committed to delivering a zero-emissions world, breathing clean air in our cities and ensuring that EV drivers never have to worry about charging times and range anxiety. “We are extremely excited to be entering into this strategic partnership with Ola,” said Myersdorf. “Ola Electric’s plans to bring StoreDot’s extreme fast-charging battery technology to India and manufacture for its range of EVs will offer Indian consumers vastly superior range and charging speed performance. We are also offering our customers a clear, hype-free technology roadmap that will extend far into the future of delivering 100 miles of range in just a two-minute charge, within a decade.”

StoreDot has pioneered an extreme fast charging ‘5-Minute charge’ EV battery technology and plans mass production in a couple of years and is working on a ‘2-Minute charge’ technology to be commercialised in the next 10 years. Its silicon-dominant anode technology is a significant improvement over the conventional lithium-ion batteries and reduces EV charging times from hours to just 5 minutes.

In 2020, Ola Electric acquired Etergo BV, an Amsterdam-based electric scooter original equipment manufacturer. This acquisition further bolstered Ola Electric’s strong engineering and design capabilities with the Etergo team’s extensive vehicle development experience with leading automotive companies like Tesla, General Motors, Ferrari, Jaguar, and BMW.

This month, the company inducted onto its Board Dr. Prabhakar Patil, former Chief Executive Officer of LG Chem Power. Aggarwal said the firm has already applied for the government of India’s $2.4 billion PLI (Production-Linked Incentive) scheme for developing advanced cells. The firm will set up a cutting edge cell manufacturing facility with up to 50GWh capacity in India. Dr Prabhakar’s expertise will help it accelerate this process of bringing indigenously designed and manufactured cells to the market.

The company is planning to ramp up its core R&D in advanced cell chemistry & manufacturing as well as other battery technologies and new energy systems. For this, it is scouting for opportunities around the world for strategic investments into companies focused on advanced cell chemistry research as well as other battery technologies. This will enable the company to provide higher density and higher battery performance for its upcoming range of two and four wheeler EVs.

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