Ola Electric Invests in ‘Extreme Fast’ Charging Firm StoreDot

Ola Electric Invests in ‘Extreme Fast’ Charging Firm StoreDot

Bengaluru based Ola Electric has invested an undisclosed amount in Israeli start up StoreDot, a battery technology company that promises “extreme-fast charging” batteries for electric vehicles (EV). Ola electric called the investment strategic in nature, without disclosing the amount invested. StoreDot, in its last funding round of $60 million, had reportedly been valued at $1.5 billion. The latest funding from Ola is apparently a part of the same round.

To that extent, a strategic investment would have to be a significant amount, one assumes.  StoreDot has bp ventures, Daimler, Samsung Ventures and Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast among its investors. The startup plans to start mass production of its XFC battery cells by 2024.

With the investment, Ola Electric will have access to StoreDot’s extreme-fast charging (XFC) battery technology that claims to charge a battery from 0 to 100 percent in about 5 minutes.

“Our ambition is to build a complete ecosystem for EVs here in India. The future of EVs lies in better, faster and high energy density batteries, capable of rapid charging and delivering higher range. We are increasing our 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,” said Ola group CEO Bhavish Aggarwal.

Ola will also have exclusive rights to manufacture batteries integrating StoreDot’s fast-charge technology in the country.

Adding Up the Pieces

Ola Electric, which has one of the most ambitious manufacturing plans in the electric two wheeler  segment, the investment is the first of what it terms several planned global strategic investments to fill all the gaps in its overall electric plans. From battery chemistry, to charging. All this comes even as the firm has had serious teething issues with its launch and subsequent deliveries so far, something that Ola Electric hopes to put behind it by the second quarter of this year.

The company plans to set up a gigafactory for cells in the country to meet the demand generated by its vehicle manufacturing facility Ola Futurefactory. It has also been reported that the firm has been selected under the Indian government’s Rs 18,500 crore Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) for advanced cell chemistry’s.

With batteries accounting for a high share of the overall cost, virtually every EV manufacturer of scale globally, and in India, is opting to have a stake in the battery supply side of the business. The country’s leading auto maker Maruti Suzuki has also announced a major battery manufacturing plan and investment as part of its own EV roadmap.

Ola has announced plans to set up a cutting-edge cell-manufacturing facility with up to 50GWh capacity in India .

“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 CEO Dr Doron Myersdorf said.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International