Ola Electric has announced a big-ticket investment of US$ 500 million (Rs 3994.5 crore) to set up a state-of-the-art Battery Innovation Center (BIC) in Bangalore.
The company claims “BIC will be one of the world’s largest and most advanced cell R&D facilities with more than 165 unique and cutting-edge lab equipment to cover all aspects of cell related research and development.”
The BIC will host proto lines that can produce all form factors – Cylindrical, Pouch, Coin, Prismatic cells. The innovation centre will have capabilities to develop complete packages of battery pack design, fabrication and testing under one roof. BIC will also be equipped with in-house production capability of mg to kg scale of anode and cathode material, integrated facility for Hand in Hand Nanoscale analysis and Molecular Dynamics simulation and an in-house crystal structure analysis to develop new battery materials. Ola says “BIC will recruit top global talent including 500 PhDs and engineers who will be supported by an additional 1000 researchers in India and multiple 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 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.”
BIC will be equipped with physical characteristics labs that have high tech research equipments including x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy machines (XPS), latest Gen 3 CT scan equipment for the Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) for cell and pack imaging, a double planetary mixer, lab slot die coater, electrode fabrication unit, an automated assembly line for manufacturing cylindrical & pouch cells among others.
While it’s early days yet in the ongoing fiscal year, Ola Electric is at present the No. 1, ahead of FY2022’s top five EV players – Hero Electric, Okinawa, Ampere Vehicles, Ather Energy and Pure Energy. In Q1 FY2023 (April-June 2022), Okinawa with 27,293 units is at No. 2 position, while Ampere Vehicles with 18,915 units is in third place, followed by Hero Electric (15,929 units), and Ather (9,596).
Ola recently unveiled its first Li-ion cell – NMC 2170 (pictured above). Built in-house, Ola will begin the mass production of its cell from its upcoming Gigafactory by 2023. The company was recently also allocated 20GWh capacity under the ACC PLI scheme by the Government of India for developing advanced cells in India, and is setting up a cutting-edge cell manufacturing facility with an initial capacity of upto 20 GWh, localising the most critical part of the EV value chain.