Indian electric scooter maker backs Israeli developer of fast-charging battery

Ola Electric makes ‘multi-million-dollar’ investment to manufacture and integrate StoreDot’s lithium ion-based battery tech for EVs in India

Ricky Ben-David is The Times of Israel’s Tech Israel editor and reporter.

An electric scooter by Indian two-wheeler maker Ola Electric. (Screenshot)
An electric scooter by Indian two-wheeler maker Ola Electric. (Screenshot)

StoreDot, an Israeli developer of extreme fast-charging (XFC) battery technology for electric vehicles (EVs), has nabbed a multi-million-dollar investment from Indian electric scooter maker Ola Electric, according to a company announcement Monday. The Bengaluru-based Ola Electric will manufacture and integrate StoreDot’s battery tech for future vehicles in India, the announcement read.

The funding is part of StoreDot’s Series D investment round of some $80 million. The company said the funding will be used for research and development and to reach mass production for its silicon-dominant anode XFC lithium-ion cells, which it says will be capable of delivering 100 miles (160 km) of driving range in five minutes of charging by 2024.

Based in Herzliya, StoreDot was founded in 2012 and has been developing lithium ion-based battery technologies, using nanomaterials and organic and inorganic compounds, that enable ultra-fast charging for the mobile and industrial markets. The company says the process redefines the chemistry of conventional lithium-ion batteries, taking electric vehicle charging times from hours to minutes.

This breakthrough is achieved primarily by replacing graphite in the cell’s anode with metalloid nanoparticles, such as silicon, to overcome major issues in safety, cycle life and cell swelling during the charging process.

The battery tech has been in development for three years and is backed by 12 patents in cell design, software and a self-repairing system that allows batteries to regenerate while in use.

Storedot CEO Dr. Doron Myersdorf has said the company’s mission was to solve some of the biggest barriers to mass EV adoption: range anxiety — a concern among drivers that the battery will run out of power before they can get to their destination — and charging time.

StoreDot’s new 4680 cylindrical battery cells for electric vehicles can be recharged in just 10 minutes, the company said in September 2021. (StoreDot)

Ola Electric is an electric two-wheeler manufacturer and a ride-hailing service with a majority share of the shared mobility market in India. The company has raised over $800 million since it was established in 2017, and is now readying for an IPO, hoping to take in $1 billion, according to a Reuters report from August.

Ola is also building a $100 million factory, called Futurefoundry, in the UK to build a future range of electric vehicles including both four and two-wheelers.

Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said in a statement that the company was committed to “accelerate the world’s transition to electric mobility” and “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. Our partnership with StoreDot, a pioneer of extreme fast-charging battery technologies, is of strategic importance and a first of many,” he said.

Myersdorf said, “Ola Electric’s plans to bring StoreDot’s extreme fast-charging battery technology to India and manufacture our XFC cells for its EVs, will offer Indian consumers longer range and vastly superior charging speed performance.”

He further indicated that the company is working on a “two-minute charge” technology for 100 miles of range within 10 years.

StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf. (StoreDot)

StoreDot recently unveiled what it called the “world’s first” silicon-dominant battery prototype capable of recharging in just 10 minutes

In January, StoreDot announced the Series D round, led by Vietnamese electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast, a unit of Vietnamese conglomerate VinGroup.

StoreDot has been working with strategic investors such as BP Ventures, the venture arm of the British multinational oil and gas firm BP plc, Daimler AG, the maker of the Mercedes Benz cars, Japanese electronic multinational TDK and Samsung Ventures, to move ahead with its technologies.

The company is also working on extreme energy density (XED) solid-state technologies that will allow for longer battery operability and hopes to enter mass production in 2028.

It said it was in advanced talks with additional global carmakers to integrate its XFC technology into future vehicle models.

In 2019, StoreDot used its XFC technology to demonstrate a full live charge of a two-wheeled electric vehicle in five minutes. A year later, it demonstrated a five-minute charge of a commercial drone. The company also previously demonstrated ultra-fast charging times for phones.

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