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The Volvo Cars Tech Fund Invests in StoreDot, a Developer of Ultra-Fast Charging EV Batteries

The Volvo Cars Tech Fund Invests in StoreDot, a Developer of Ultra-Fast Charging EV Batteries

Author: Eric Walz   

The Volvo Cars Tech Fund, which is the venture capital arm of automaker Volvo Cars, has made an investment in promising battery technology developer StoreDot, a company that is developing ultra fast-charging batteries for electric vehicles.

Volvo Cars says its the first premium car maker to invest in StoreDot.

StoreDot, which is based in Israel, says its fast-charging EV battery technology can add 160km (100 miles) of driving range in just five minutes. As part of the investment in StoreDot, Volvo Cars has secured access to any technology breakthroughs as a result of the collaboration.

Volvo Cars says the investment provides it the opportunity to collaborate closely with StoreDot on the development of new battery technology, which will help the automaker reach its goal of building only fully-electric vehicles by 2030. By 2025, Volvo Cars aims for half of its global volume to be fully electric vehicles.

The partnership with Volvo Cars will also help StoreDot to accelerate the time to market for its technology. The company aims to begin mass production of its ultra-fast charging batteries by 2024. 

StoreDot's pioneering battery development is centered around silicon anode technology and related software integration. The silicon nanoparticles replace traditional Lithium-ion graphite anode materials, which help to increase an EV battery's energy density and shorten charging times. For one, it will allow Volvo to use smaller faster charging batteries for its future EVs without sacrificing range or power.

The extremely fast charging battery technology also aligns with Volvo Cars' ambition to develop electric cars with a longer range, quicker charging and lower costs.

"We aim to be the fastest transformer in our industry and the Tech Fund plays a crucial role in establishing partnerships with future technology leaders," said Alexander Petrofski, head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. "Our investment in StoreDot perfectly fits that mindset and their commitment to electrification and carbon-free mobility matches our own. We're excited to make this a successful collaboration for both parties and work towards bringing this groundbreaking technology to the market."

The collaboration between both companies will mainly take place within the battery technology joint venture that Volvo Cars established last year with Sweden-based EV battery manufacturer Northvolt. The joint venture is focusing on both development and manufacturing of state-of-the-art battery cells, which will be tailor-made for use in next generation vehicles from Volvo Cars and its EV brand Polestar.

In June of last year, Northvolt announced the signing of a $2.75 billion private placement to finance further battery cell production capacity and R&D efforts in order to meet the increasing demand from its automotive customers, including Volvo, Volkswagen and BMW.

With the private placement, Northvolt has now raised more than $6.5 billion to support the company's expansion plans of reaching 150 GWh of annual battery production capacity in Europe by 2030. 

In February, Volvo Cars and Northvolt announced they are establishing a new battery manufacturing plant in Gothenburg, Sweden which will start producing batteries in 2025. 

Construction of the plant will begin next year. 

The factory will complement the planned R&D center that Volvo Cars and Northvolt announced in Dec 2021 as part of an investment of approximately SEK 30 billion (US$3.2 billion).

The Northvolt factory is located near Sweden's primary nickel, cobalt, lithium and graphite deposits, which are the raw materials used in battery production.

Once completed, the battery cell joint venture between Northvolt and Volvo Cars will be one of the largest EV battery cell factories in Europe. Volvo Cars and Northvolt have appointed former Tesla executive Adrian Clarke to lead the new joint venture.

Volvo Cars has one of the most ambitious electrification plans in the auto industry. In addition to transitioning to purely electric vehicles by 2030, the automaker plans to become a climate neutral company by 2040. 

The Volvo Cars Tech Fund was established in Feb 2018. The aim of the fund is to invest in strategic technology trends that are transforming the automotive industry. In addition to EV battery technologies, the fund targets start-ups working in fields such as autonomous driving, vehicle safety and security, networking and connectivity platforms and artificial intelligence.

Promising companies like StoreDot benefit in a number of ways from and investment from the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. Apart from the association with one of the world's premium car makers, companies like StoreDot gain the ability to accelerate time to market and validate their technology in Volvo vehicles.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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