GM continues to expand its EV battery capabilities with a fresh acquisition in the electric vehicle battery software sector, that of Israeli startup ALGOLiON Ltd.
Announced on June 30th, 2023, the acquisition involves The General paying an unspecified sum to ALGOLiON’s owners in exchange for “substantially all the assets” of the battery software company.
ALGOLiON has been in business for approximately nine years since its 2014 founding and focuses on software that monitors EV battery health. The software it has developed, and which GM now owns the rights to, scans the data from electric vehicle batteries and can detect slight imbalances in performance.
The precision and sensitivity of the software is said to help EV battery management systems prevent “thermal runaway propagation events” – the spontaneous EV battery fires that occasionally make sensational headlines. According to GM, the software doesn’t require additional sensors to operate, instead using available data and powerful algorithms to detect potential problems before they get out of hand.
Niles Fleischer, Ph.D., one of the founders of ALGOLiON, says the Israel-based company “found the right home for our technology to play an integral role in maintaining healthy batteries for exciting products and reach customers globally.”
GM says ALGOLiON’s employees will be absorbed into the workforce at the GM Technical Center in Herzliya, Israel. Gil Golan, the vice president of GM’s Technology Acceleration and Commercialization (TAC) group, remarked that the “cutting edge battery analytics and prediction software […] will help General Motors deliver great performing EVs for our customers.”
GM has been taking action to expand its EV battery production capabilities and technologies to better support its EV goals. The General is pursuing multiple lines of development, including the launch of a new North American Ultium CAM cathode active material joint venture to supply its own U.S.-sourced battery cathode materials.
In addition to helping create safer EV batteries for passenger vehicles, the ALGOLiON software might be used for other applications as well. As one example, the GM Ultium platform will be used for a prototype energy storage unit for the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). Monitoring these large energy storage systems for potential thermal runaway hazards could potentially be another important use for ALGOLiON algorithms.
In pursuing its electrification strategy, GM developed its Ultium batteries, electric GM Ultium Drive motors, and highly scalable BEV3 platform and BT1 platform, creating a springboard from which it can now quickly accelerate EV production.