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InoBat was established in 2019 in Slovakia. Besides EV batteries R&D and production, the company also consists of two other industrial verticals – energy storage and hydrogen.

On this week’s Mobility Moments, we talk to InoBat’s Co-Founder and CEO, Marian Bocek, about the world’s first ‘intelligent’ EV battery and his company’s plans to build a Gigafactory in central Europe. 

What is InoBat’s back-story?

InoBat Auto empowers electric mobility by creating intelligent batteries for a greener world. We are the ‘Discovery to Delivery’ battery company with a unique R&D to manufacturing capability to accelerate the electrification of transport across Europe from its very heart – Slovakia.

InoBat will build Europe’s first battery cell R&D centre prototype cell-manufacturing capabilities by late 2021. The InoBat Gigafactory will expand overall manufacturing capacity to 10GWh by 2025.

Describe your AI-built batteries

By utilising AI, our batteries are fully customisable for any type and sizes of vehicles, unlocking new design possibilities for automakers. This directly opposes the current catalogue approach present in the EV market and allows the carmakers to have tailor-made batteries for the needs of their manufacturing.

Batteries will provide 265Wh/kg energy densities by the end of 2021, with density increase to 298Wh/kg by mid-2022. InoBat will generate battery cells that have 330-350 Wh/kg and 1000Wh/l by the end of 2023. Our long-term ambition is to remove nickel and cobalt from batteries and further develop anode technologies to ultimately target 500 Wh/k.

How will the batteries help solve range anxiety?

1st state of the art cell will be available by the end of 2020 (NMC 622) and will have 10% lower losses and offer cca 6% more range; 2nd Leading Technology Cell, which will be available by Q1 2021 (NMC 811) will have more than 10% lower losses and up to 20% more capacity and range. That translates to increase of about 80km to 100km in state-of-the-art vehicles.

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Why build a battery Gigafactory in Slovakia?

Phase 2 of the project will lead to construction of a 10GWh Gigafactory, which will focus on mass-scale production of the batteries by 2025. The concrete location is yet to be determined.

EU battery market is projected to grow 17x in 10 years. The current numbers of EV models in EU (70) is planned to grow to 500+ by 2025. Despite a planned new supply, there is a large market shortfall. CEE has a unique position in the car manufacturing as it’s home to biggest producers of cars per capita in the world.

Furthermore, EV market heavily depends on its ties with Asia but this status quo is unsustainable – InoBat Auto, with its unique location, will this way further support EU’s bet for technological independence.

Bocek

How are you helping to reduce the EV industry’s dependence on cobalt?

Cobalt is a scarce, toxic, and lustrous mineral that is found in almost all lithium-ion batteries used today. It’s expensive, heavy, and linked to unethical mining practices – 66 per cent of cobalt today comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cobalt puts humans and the environment at risk of toxic exposure at every point along the supply chain.

From extraction to recycling of cobalt-based batteries, it is often compared to blood-diamond mining with regards to its harmful environmental and social effects.

InoBat’s unique technology-led approach to battery production enables to reduce the dependence on cobalt, a critical objective of our generation. This will be carried out via minimising cobalt content in produced battery cells. In addition, through recycling, InoBat Auto would like to source as much cobalt as possible.

What effect has Covid-19 had on the transport/mobility industry?

Over the long term, Covid-19 will have a lasting impact on mobility as it drives change in the macroeconomic environment, regulatory trends, technology, and consumer behaviours. The most immediate and visible effect of Covid-19 in the traditional automotive sector is the standstill of many OEM and supplier factories, which heavily impacted the stock markets and vehicle sales .That definitely means that the current system cannot continue in the same ways as before.

Slovakia produces most cars in the world – but without investing in innovation, we are risking it becoming the Detroit of Europe. Therefore, we most focus on sustainable solutions and mobility shift.

What are your long-term ambitions for InoBat?

Our long-term ambition is to remove nickel and cobalt from batteries and further develop anode technologies to ultimately target 500 Wh/k energy density. Secondly, it is the construction of the 10 GWh Gigafactory by 2025.

What does the ‘green future’ look like?

For us, green future means future that is carbon-free, sustainable, and innovative. It is future that leaves oil and grass in the ground and focuses on utilisation of renewable energies.

In InoBat, the environmental protection lies at our heart, including the utilisation of green energy mix, recycling of batteries and water reuse in our facilities, as well as compliance with EU 2050 Carbon neutrality plan.

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