Electric vehicle group Ideanomics invests in European battery firm

Electric vehicle group Ideanomics invests in European battery firm

Inobat Auto, a “premium battery technology and manufacturing company”, has received a €10 million (£8.35m) investment from Ideanomics, an American EV group that specialises in commercial fleet operations.

The deal values Inobat at the mid-hundreds of millions of pounds.

The Ideanomics cash injection follows similar deals that mining conglomerate Rio Tinto and Indian battery group Amara Raja made with Inobat late last year.

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The news comes as Ideanomics seeks to derisk its battery supply chain across its mobility companies.

Ideanomics president Robin Mackie said: “We have been seeking an innovative battery partner to support our electrification strategy. We hope that this investment and partnership will help futureproof our battery and supply needs to realise our commitment towards making EV the natural mobility successor.”

The main thrust of the deal is towards commercial EVs, Ideanomics’s core business.

Inobat CEO Marian Bocek said: “This strategic partnership allows us to expand our battery technology for both on- and off-road commercial EVs while increasing our capacity and future opportunities to support the US e-mobility market.”

The focus for this particular deal remains the US, with both companies working together to “develop, produce, and distribute integrated battery pack solutions for the US market”.

Although Inobat isn’t yet a household name, it can count ex-Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer as its vice-chairman.

This deal is the latest in a long line of cash injections into EV start-ups and comes as Inobat seeks to build on its ambitions to open further ‘gigafactories’ throughout Europe from 2024.

It’s currently building a research-and-development centre and a pilot battery facility in Voderady, Slovakia, with a view to completing both by the end of 2022.

Other European firms are also looking to open battery ‘gigafactories’ as manufacturers rush to build more EVs.

Northvolt, a Swedish company that has backing from BMW, Volkswagen and Volvo, started producing batteries in 2021, while Britishvolt has broken ground on its gigafactory in Blyth, England. However, the main EV battery supply chain remains based in Asia.