GM buys Israel-based software startup to detect early battery defects

General Motors (GM.N) said on Friday it had acquired Algolion Ltd, an Israel-based software startup that helps detect problems in batteries.

GM said Algolion’s software will help the Detroit automaker bring to the market a “cost-effective” early hazard detection system at a quicker pace.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, comes at a time when automakers are investing billions in manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) and rushing to develop batteries – which represent up to 50% of an EV’s price tag – that can power an automobile for a longer duration.

It also comes as safety authorities urge U.S. automakers to improve battery standards after a series of events where vehicles have caught fire due to defective modules.

Algolion has developed a software that uses data from EV battery management systems to help identify anomalies in cell performance and provide early detection of battery hazards including “thermal runaway propagation events”, GM said.