India’s Ola Electric to build solid-state batteries

India’s Ola Electric to build solid-state batteries

India’s Ola Electric to build solid-state batteries 150 150 Batteries International

July 5, 2024: India-based EV Ola Electric has announced a plan to spend $100 million to build a gigafactory focusing on solid state batteries, as the company is expanding beyond the EV business into becoming a cell provider.

In an announcement on June 29, Bhavish Aggarwal, the founder and chairman of the SoftBank Group-backed electric scooter maker, highlighted plans for the factory to scale up from 1.5 GWh to 5 GWh capacity in two phases. He said he expects its electric scooters, among Indian’s most-sold vehicles, to be powered by its own cells next year.

He said: “We are in the very early stages of our experimentation on solid state batteries,” and that commercial production would begin at its cell gigafactory in Tamil Nadu state, in south India.

Ola does not produce its own cells but sources them from South Korea’s LG Energy Solution and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL).

An industry insider told Batteries International that localizing cell manufacturing is the next step in reducing the upfront costs of EVs, with cell sourcing being the most expensive for manufacturers.

Solid-state batteries are expected to offer improved safety, a longer lifespan and faster charging compared with conventional lithium-ion batteries that use flammable liquid electrolytes. But mass adoption has proved difficult due to constraints in raw material availability, intricate manufacturing processes and high costs.

The factory, owned by a unit of Ola Electric, has been selected for the government’s battery manufacturing incentive scheme.