Ola to invest $500 M in battery innovation and R&D

The company plans to set up a Battery Innovation Center in Bengaluru, covering all aspects of cell research and development.
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Ola Electric, an electric vehicles company, said that it plans to invest $500 million to set up a Battery Innovation Center in Bengaluru.

The innovation centre will be one of the world’s largest and most advanced cell R&D facilities with more than 165 unique, cutting-edge lab equipment to cover all aspects of cell related research and development, said the company in a press release.

The company said the centre will host Proto lines that can produce all form factors – Cylindrical, Pouch, Coin, Prismatic cells. The innovation centre will have the capabilities to develop complete packages of battery pack design, fabrication, and testing under one roof.

The Battery Innovation Center will also be equipped with an in-house production capability of mg to kg scale of anode and cathode material, an integrated facility for hand-in-hand nanoscale analysis and molecular dynamics simulation, and an in-house crystal structure analysis to develop new battery materials. The centre will recruit top global talent including 500 PhDs and engineers, who will be supported by an additional 1000 researchers in India and other global centres.

 

Bhavish Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Ola Electric, said, “Electric mobility is a high growth sector which is R&D intensive. Ola’s Battery Innovation Center (BIC) in Bangalore will be the cornerstone for core cell tech development and battery innovation out of India for the world. BIC will house advanced labs and high-tech equipment for battery innovation and will power India’s journey towards becoming a global EV hub.”

The Battery Innovation Center will be equipped with physical characteristics labs that have high-tech research equipment, including x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy machines, latest Gen 3 CT scan equipment for non-destructive testing for cell and pack imaging, a double planetary mixer, lab slot die coater, electrode fabrication unit, and an automated assembly line for manufacturing cylindrical and pouch cells, said the release from the company.

A few days ago, Bhavish had tweeted, "The cell is the heart of the EV revolution. We need to make our own technology to scale faster and innovate. Much more in the pipeline on our cell technology roadmap!"

Currently, Ola Electric purchases its electric cells from South Korean manufacturer LG Chem.

Ola recently unveiled its first Li-ion cell, NMC 2170. Built in-house, Ola will begin mass production of its cell from its upcoming gigafactory by 2023. The company was recently allocated 20GWh capacity under the Production Linked Incentive scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell by the Government of India for developing advanced cells in India. It is setting up a cutting edge cell manufacturing facility with an initial capacity of up to 20 GWh, localising the most critical part of the EV value chain.