A lithium-ion battery R&D and production facility for module and pack assembly is set to be built in Indianapolis, US following a partnership between cell developer InoBat Auto and commercial vehicle firm Ideanomics.
With an initial annual production capacity of 100MWh the project is part of a phased, three stage investment project by the firms and the first venture into the US by InoBat Auto.
Both parties aim to construct a full, commercial-scale battery module and pack assembly plant with an initial 2-3GWh yearly production capacity.
The first two phases would be supplied by cells from Slovakia-based InoBat Auto’s European facilities.
Depending on sufficient and bankable offtake agreements, InoBat Auto is also exploring the option to build a tailor-made battery cell production facility with an initial 4GWh annual capacity.
Marian Boček, InoBat auto chief executive officer, said building a presence in Indiana would ensure the companies reached their joint target of commercialising standard and tailor-made battery packs for the US market.
The affiliation expands on the firms’ strategic partnership that saw US-based Ideanomics invest in InoBat Auto in January to support the completion of InoBat’s R&D center and pilot battery plant located in Voderady, Slovakia by the end of 2022.
In conjunction with the investment, Ideanomics and InoBat agreed to collaborate to develop, produce, and distribute integrated battery pack solutions for the US market.
The State of Indiana, which will provide administrative, advisory, fiscal and site location support.
Inobat battery development
InoBat Auto’s first-generation NMC 622 pouch cell is based on a nickel-rich chemistry.
The company says it retains 91% capacity after 600 cycles, can charge up to 85% capacity in 30 mins and retain 77% capacity at -20oC and has an expected cycle-life of 1,350 (end of life at 80% capacity retention).
The company is delivering its 4th generation cells to customers for vehicle prototyping purposes.
In March, InoBat announced its intention to locate its third gigafactory in Western Europe.
Candidate sites include locations in Europe and the UK, with a decision to be taken within 2022.
To enable this latest phase InoBat implemented a new board structure and with Dr Andy Palmer in the role of chairman (he was vice-chairman for two years); additional members of the board are: Dr Tara Lindstedt, Vazil Hudak, and Kathryn Baker.
The outgoing chairman of InoBat, Faysal Sohail, will remain actively involved in company developments as chair of the Advisory Board.