India has announced plans to make lithium-ion batteries locally. The country currently sources lithium-ion batteries from countries like China, South Korea and Japan. In fact, India is one of the largest importers of lithium-ion batteries in the world. In 2017 alone, the country imported lithium-ion batteries worth USD 150 million.
This is now set to change. The Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) signed a memorandum of agreement for transfer of technology for India’s first lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery project with Raasi Solar Power on June 9.
The agreement was signed between Dr Vijayamohan K. Pillai, director, CECRI and C Narasimhan, chairman and managing director of Raasi Group at a function that was attended by the country’s minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan.
A group of scientists at CSIR-CECRI led by Dr Gopu Kumar worked closely with CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) New Delhi, CSIR-Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CSIR-CGCRI) Kolkata and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) Hyderabad for developing an indigenous technology of lithium-ion cells.
CSIR-CECRI has already setup a demo facility in Chennai for manufacturing the prototype lithium-ion cells, and have secured global intellectual property rights. They say their technology can reduce costs and when this is used with appropriate supply chain and manufacturing technology, the product becomes viable for mass production.
“Today’s development is a validation of the capabilities of CSIR and its laboratories to meet technology in critical areas to support our industry, besides other sectors,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan. “It will give tremendous boost to two flagship programs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – increasing the share of clean energy in the energy basket by generating 175 Giga Watts by 2022, of which 100 Giga Watts will be solar and the second, National Electric Mobility Mission, to switch completely to electric vehicles by 2030.”
Based on the agreement, the Raasi Group will set up a factory in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu close to Bangalore. Narasimhan said the company’s goal is to reduce the cost of cell manufacturing to below Rs 15,000 per KW to replace lead acid battery. The company also has plans to make lithium-ion battery for solar roof top which would have a life span of 25 years. This would make it affordable enough to drive the Photo Voltaic segment.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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