Ola Electric invests in extra-fast charging tech from StoreDot

India’s Ola Electric has invested in Israel’s StoreDot to access the latter’s fast-charging technology. Ola says this was the first of several global investments as it looks to ramp up its R&D in advanced cell chemistry and manufacturing.

Rumours of Ola Electric to build a giga-scale factory emerged in February. Insiders then spoke of 50 GWh capacity, and today’s news comes as further confirmation.

Ola today said it indeed plans to set up a gigafactory for manufacturing cells in the country and that they had already submitted a bid under the Government’s PLI scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell Battery Storage.

As part of the investment announced today, Ola Electric will have access to StoreDot’s XFC battery technology that charges a battery from 0 to 100% in five minutes. The deal includes exclusive rights to manufacture batteries integrating StoreDot’s technology in India.

Bhavish Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Ola, said their ambition was “to build a complete ecosystem for EVs” in India. “Our partnership with StoreDot, a pioneer of extreme fast-charging battery technologies, is of strategic importance and a first of many.”

Dr Doron Myersdorf, the StoreDot CEO, added their battery technology would offer Indian consumers “vastly superior range and charging speed performance” once Ola begins manufacturing. “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 2-minute charge within a decade.”

StoreDot utilises a silicon-dominant anode technology but has yet to start scaling up production.

The same goes for Ola. So far, the company has not confirmed any timeline for a battery factory. Still, insiders mentioned plans for a capacity of one gigawatt-hour by 2023 and expanding that to 20 GWh within three to four years. It remains unclear by when the expansion stage with 50 GWh is to be reached.

Earlier reports estimated that Ola alone would need 40 GWh of battery capacity to meet its goal of producing ten million electric scooters a year once the Futurefactory runs at total capacity. Much more will be required once the company manages to launch an electric car.

Aggarwal had hinted at plans for a compact city vehicle on Twitter in late January. The company then also revealed plans for the so-called Ola Futurefoundry to be built in Coventry, UK. The centre was to enable the company “to tap into the fantastic automotive design & engineering talent in the UK to create the next generation of electric vehicles,” said Aggarwal at the time.

Ola started off as India’s equivalent to Uber and has steadily been expanding their electric vehicle services since announcing a fleet of electric rickshaws in 2018. Ola passed the $1 billion value mark in 2019 and is currently valued at around five billion dollars.

StoreDot and Ola did not disclose the sum of the investment.

Source: info via email


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