Commercial production of a “home grown” lithium-ion battery is to begin in India. The technology, developed by scientists at CSIR-Central Electro Chemical Research Institute in Karaikudi is being put into production by Bengaluru-based Raasi Solar.
The company is planning to produce rechargeable batteries for storage of solar energy and to power electric vehicles.
Inaugurating the lithium-ion cells production and a demonstration plant at a function at CSIR Madras Complex in Taramani, governor Banwarilal Purohit said using indigenous batteries could go a long way in driving the country’s plan to achieve 100% electric vehicle sale by 2030.
“Since the cost of the battery accounts for about a third of the total purchase price of an electric vehicle today, driving down battery costs could be a key element of long-term success for India’s automotive sector,” he said.
Raasi chairman C Narasimhan said the lithium is currently imported. But these batteries are more efficient and durable than lead-acid batteries. “A lead-acid battery used in an e-rickshaw costs about Rs 7,000. These batteries must be changed once in six months. But a lithium-ion which costs around Rs 30,000 can last for nearly eight years,” he said.
With the indigenous battery, Narasimhan said his company has plans to build a bus that can run up to 500km at a speed of 150kmph on a single charge and develop a flash charging system where vehicles can get charged on the go. Besides the 1GW plant, Narasimhan said a lithium recycling plant will be setup in Krishnagiri.CSIR-CECRI director Vijayamohan K Pillai said his laboratory is working with National Metallurgical Laboratory and Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology on developing lithium recycling technology.
“All batteries currently being used are imported from countries like China. Once we indigenise, it will bring down the cost.”