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Bhavish Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Ola Electric, announced that the company will invest USD 500 million, in a Bengaluru cell research and development centre.
In a tweet, Aggarwal stated, “Sharing something I’m personally very passionate about! Building a state-of-the-art Battery Innovation Center (BIC) in Bangalore”.
He said that BIC would be the largest and most advanced cell research and development facility in the world. “500+ engineers & PhDs, $500mn investment. Will be up & running next month!” Aggarwal said.
The company stated that the BIC would be the largest and most advanced cell research and development facility in the world, with over 165 innovative lab equipment. This will cover all aspects of cell-related research.
It added that the centre will house lines capable of producing all form factors, including cylindrical, pouch, coin and prismatic cells. The innovation centre will be able to design and fabricate complete battery pack packages, as well as test them under one roof.
BIC will be equipped with an in-house production capacity of mg to kilograms of anode or cathode material. It also has an integrated facility that allows for hand-in-hand nano-scale analysis, molecular dynamics simulation, and in-house crystal structure analysis in order to develop new batteries.
According to the company, the R&D centre will attract top talent from around the world, including 500 engineers and PhDs. They will also be supported by 1,000 Indian researchers and other global centres.
“Electric mobility is a high growth sector which is R&D intensive. Ola’s BIC in Bangalore will be the cornerstone for core cell tech development and battery innovation out of India for the world,” Aggarwal noted.
He said that BIC will be home to advanced laboratories and high-tech equipment for developing battery technology and will help India become a global EV hub.
Ola has just unveiled NMC 2170, its first Li-ion cell. The company is a self-built unit and will start mass production next year.
Recently, the company received 20GWh capacity under ACC PLI by the government to develop advanced cells in India. It is currently setting up a cutting-edge cell manufacturing plant with an initial capacity of up to 20 GWh. This will allow the company to localise the most important part of the EV value chain.
SoftBank Group-backed company is currently in discussions with several global suppliers to construct a battery manufacturing plant in India. It will have a maximum capacity of 50 gigawatts.
The firm will invest in companies that use advanced cell and battery technology as part of its larger electrification push.
Ola Electric requires 40 Gwh to power its 10 million electric scooters each year. The rest will go to the electric cars that the company plans on manufacturing in the future.