Bhavish Aggarwal-led electric vehicle company Ola Electric has unveiled its first indigenously developed lithium-ion (Li-ion) cell, NMC 2170. Built in-house, Ola will begin the mass production of its cell at its upcoming Gigafactory by 2023.

This high nickel cylindrical Ola cell uses Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt (NMC) on the cathode side; and graphite and silicon on the anode side. "The use of specific chemistry and materials enables the cell to pack more energy in a given space and also improves the overall life cycle of the cell. The cell has been developed keeping the indigenous conditions at the core," says Ola Electric.

In March this year, Ola Electric invested in an Israeli battery technology company StoreDot, a pioneer in batteries with extreme fast charging (XFC) technology. As per the pact, Ola Electric has access to StoreDot's XFC battery technology that charges a battery from 0 to 100% in just 5 minutes.

Ola Electric CEO Bhavish Aggarwal says Ola is building the world's "most advanced" cell research centre. “A cell is the heart of the EV revolution. Ola is building the world's most advanced cell research centre that will enable us to scale and innovate faster and build the most advanced and affordable EV products in the world with speed. Our first indigenously made Li-ion cell is also the first of many in our cell technology roadmap. Having a robust local EV ecosystem is important for India to become a global EV hub,” he adds.

In a LinkedIn post, Aggarwal says India needs to make its own technology to scale faster and innovate. "Join us if you’re a cell or battery systems engineer. We’re building the best team in India and also building exciting future tech!" he adds.

Ola Electric says it has plans to invest in core R&D to create indigenous advanced cell technologies, strengthen manufacturing capabilities and create an integrated Ola Electric Vehicles hub. It was recently allocated 20GWh capacity under the advanced chemistry cell (ACC) PLI scheme by the Government of India for developing advanced cells in India.

The company is setting up a cutting-edge cell manufacturing facility with an initial capacity of up to 20 GWh, localising the most critical part of the EV value chain. "The company is also recruiting top cell R&D talent across the globe, and will employ 500 PhDs and engineers," says Ola Electric.

The company launched its first electric scooter in August 2021 and has set up the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturing facility in India. To build a roadmap of electric vehicles to accelerate the transition to electric mobility, Ola Electric says it is currently developing its first electric four-wheeler.

In April, Ola Electric had dethroned segment leader and one of the oldest incumbents, Hero Electric, for the pole position, with the highest market share.

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