India’s government has been urged to be “technology neutral” in supporting the country’s nascent electric vehicle (EV) sector— and not to back lithium-ion batteries exclusively.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), which represents vehicle and vehicular engine manufacturers, said warned ministers “there are also challenges in developing charging infrastructure, lithium mining, low cost batteries and disposal of discarded lithium batteries”.
In a new policy paper on EVs, SIAM said “it is best that the government should not promote any single technology and keep policy formulation for any sector as technology neutral and leave it to market forces to decide the winners and losers”.
The body called for the “proper scrapping of batteries” under an “incentivised” recycling scheme to “not only alleviate possible environmental concerns, but also act as an enabler to source locally the chemical elements of the batteries such as lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt, titanium, phosphorus etc., thus increasing the cost effectiveness of the supply chain”.
And SIAM said proposals “for complete electric vehicles is not a panacea for all transport related issues”.
SIAM’s warning echoes that of Yunkui Gao, the MD of Sacred Sun— one of China’s top players in lead-acid technology. Gao told the spring 2017 edition of BEST magazine lithium-ion was not the only option for ‘new energy’ vehicles and lithium batteries development must be market-oriented and not rely entirely on subsidies.
BBB reported last November that Japanese auto giants Toyota and Suzuki had agreed the next steps to launching a range of EVs in India by “around 2020” using locally made lithium-ion batteries.
The announcement came as India’s government mulls proposals to incentivise domestic carmakers to set up their own lithium-ion battery plants in the country to reduce the cost of domestic EV production.