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Volvo venture fund invests in battery startup

Volvo Cars’ venture capital arm has invested in battery technology startup StoreDot, betting the company’s fast charging tech could be a game-changer as the automaker rolls out new electric vehicles.

“We believe StoreDot has very interesting battery technology,” said Alexander Petrofski, head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. “They specialize in anode material, improving charging times quite significantly. Given that electrification is a major priority for Volvo Cars, this is technology that is of significant interest to us.”

Volvo did not disclose how much it invested in StoreDot, which has received funding from companies including Daimler, VinFast and BP in previous rounds. Petrofski said Volvo’s investments usually account for less than 10 percent of a company’s value.

“We don’t want to control the company because if we wanted to control it, we could buy it,” he said. “But we don’t want to. We want it to prosper standing on its own legs.”

StoreDot, founded in 2012 in Herzliya, Israel, has raised $190.5 million to date, according to Crunchbase records.

The company is developing fast charging battery technology it says could allow EVs to get 100 miles of range with two minutes of charging by 2032. The company plans a gradual evolution toward that target: It seeks to mass-produce batteries that can achieve that range with five minutes of charge by 2024, followed by tech that can hit that figure in three minutes by 2028.

The startup uses battery chemistry that differs from that of many of its competitors in the burgeoning EV battery industry. StoreDot says it replaces traditional lithium ion graphite anodes with silicon synthesized with proprietary compounds. This, it says, results in faster charging times.

The investment comes as Volvo prepares to roll out a host of electric models. The automaker has set aggressive electrification targets, planning to phase out gasoline-powered vehicles, including hybrids, in its lineup by 2030.

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