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Bengaluru-based electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Ola Electric announced that it will invest $500 million in setting up a state-of-the-art Battery Innovation Center (BIC) in Bengaluru.
According to the company, the center would be one of the world’s largest and most advanced cell research and development (R&D) facilities. The center would be equipped with more than 165 unique and advanced lab apparatuses to cover all aspects of cell-related research and development.
The innovation center will be able to develop complete packages of battery pack design, fabrication, and testing under one roof. It will 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 facility will host proto lines that can produce all form factors cylindrical, pouch, coin, and prismatic cells.
“Electric mobility is a high growth sector which is R&D intensive. Ola’s Battery Innovation Center 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,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Ola Electric.
The innovation center is expected to have physical characteristics labs that have high-tech research equipment, including x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy machines, the latest Gen 3 CT scan equipment for the non-destructive testing for cell and pack imaging, a double planetary mixer, lab slot die coater, electrode fabrication unit, an automated assembly line for manufacturing cylindrical and pouch cells among others.
Ola recently unveiled its first Li-ion cell, NMC 2170, built in-house. Ola aims to begin the mass production of the cell from its upcoming Gigafactory by 2023.
Recently, Ola Electric CEO Bhavish Aggarwal announced on his social media that the company plans to build a sports car, which it will unveil soon.
Ola Electric Mobility was one of the shortlisted companies by the Ministry of Heavy Industries for receiving incentives under the production-linked incentive program for advanced chemistry cells (ACC) for energy storage. Ola was to receive incentives for setting up 20 GWh ACC capacity. The total capacity under the program was set at 50 GWh with an outlay of over ₹181 billion (~$2.27 billion).
In October 2021, Ola Electric had raised over $200 million, at a valuation of $3 billion, from Falcon Edge, Softbank, and other investors. In July 2021, Ola and Bank of Baroda signed one of the largest long-term debt financing agreements in the Indian EV industry. The ten-year debt of $100 million was for the financial closure of Phase 1 of Ola Futurefactory.
Arjun Joshi is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, he worked as a technical writer for enterprise resource software companies based in India and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Optional English from Garden City University, Bangalore. More articles from Arjun Joshi.