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MoU signals move toward anode supply for lithium-ion gigafactory in India

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 13:42 -- Paul Crompton

Battery anode materials start-up Epsilon Advanced Materials (EAMPL) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Charge CCCV (C4V) to supply material for an Indian lithium-ion battery gigafactory.

The MoU covers the development and qualification of the large-scale supply of synthetic anode material to support C4V’s domestic supply chain vision to establish gigafactory in India. 

The MoU comes as the US-based C4V prepares to submit an application for the Indian government’s PLI-ACC scheme (Production Linked Incentives scheme for manufacturing advanced chemistry cell batteries).

As part of the agreement, both firms will jointly develop tailored, synthetic anode materials suited for applications in C4V’s lithium-ion cells and giga-scale production lines. 

The collaboration is intended to result in a long-term, volume supply agreement for battery materials of C4V’s battery cells that target Indian-based growth markets including automotive and industrial applications. 

Vikram Handa, managing director of Epsilon Advanced Materials— a subsidiary of Epsilon Carbon— said: “This partnership will give us an opportunity to develop anode material supply ecosystem in India for global supply. 

“This move will not only support our PM’s vision of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' [a self-reliant India] but also put India on the global map as a battery material manufacturing hub.‘’

Epsilon has a commercial capacity of 2,500 tons per annum for anode precursor material (EMC series) and a pilot facility for coke powder (EMP series) and graphite anodes (EMG series). 

C4V is involved in two gigafactory projects through its affiliates iM3NY (New York, USA) and iM3TVS (Townsville Australia) in association with its strategic partner and shareholder Magnis Energy Technologies. 

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Daramic doubles lead-acid battery separator production capacity at its India plant

Thu, 12/02/2021 - 13:48 -- Paul Crompton

Lead battery separator firm Daramic is set to double the capacity of its polyethylene (PE) separator manufacturing plant in India— just four years after opening the facility.

Daramic, an Asahi Kasei Group company, is expanding capacity at the plant in Dahej, Gujarat to meet the evolving needs of the lead-acid battery industry.

The expansion will enable the company to meet the full demand of Indian customers, as well as helping the firm ease the global supply chain challenges. 

The expansion will open export possibilities to adjacent geographies for its lead-acid battery separators in automotive, industrial and specialty applications. 

Chad Schuchmann, president of Daramic, said: “We are delighted to expand the operating footprint of our state-of-the-art Dahej plant, which will be leveraged to enhance our output and market presence in India. 

“The new production lines enable us to further strengthen our offerings, keep pace with anticipated market demand, and support the growth of the lead-acid battery industry that is set to grow substantially in the coming years. 

“With the current tightening of the global supply chain, Daramic is positioned to meet demand of all major customers in India, with the ability to export to adjoining geographies if needed. 

“Our Dahej plant is equipped to develop separators for batteries that meet modern requirements and create separator solutions that drive innovative market opportunities.” 

India's exciting market

Ahila Krishnamoorthy, managing director, Daramic, said: “India continues to be a very exciting market for us as we have witnessed significant growth in the country. 

“Today, we see a very strong future for lead-acid batteries in India, largely for innovative automotive solutions, industrial applications, and a growing demand for enhanced energy solutions from smaller cities. 

“These factors are expected to drive the lead-acid battery market at a rapid pace in the coming decade. Our investment reaffirms our confidence in the country’s future and we are committed to cater to the country’s growing energy demands. We are creating optimal conditions to meet the increasing market demand and we are well poised to support India’s growth.”

Daramic was established over 90 years ago, and today makes PE separators as well as phenolic resin- based separators for automotive, industrial and specialty applications in the lead-acid battery industry. 

The company has eight strategically located manufacturing facilities in the US, France, Germany, India, China and Thailand. 

Daramic began its India operations in Bangalore in 2008.

In addition to the manufacturing and finishing facility, Daramic has an R&D center in Dahej and a finishing plant in Himachal Pradesh. 

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Honda to begin battery-swapping service for electric tricycle taxis in India

Tue, 11/16/2021 - 14:05 -- Paul Crompton

Vehicle OEM Honda Motor has announced plans for a battery sharing service for electric tricycle taxis in India using its swappable lithium-ion batteries.

Honda aims to eliminate user concerns around short range, long charging time and high costs through the use of swappable batteries scheme.

The scheme is due to begin in the first half of next year, and follows demonstration testing in India in February when 30 units of electric rickshaw taxis were driven for a total of more than 200,000 km.

Rickshaw drivers will be able to stop at a battery swapping station in the city and swap a low remaining charge battery for a fully-charged MPP e: battery.

The Indian-made Honda Mobile Power Pack e: has a rated voltage of 50.26V, a rated capacity of 26.1Ah/1.3kWh and weighs 10.3Kkg.

To begin this service, Honda will establish a subsidiary in India that will install a number of Honda Mobile Power Pack Exchanger e: as battery swapping stations and conduct battery sharing service in the city. 

Honda will work with electric rickshaw manufacturers and begin the service in selected cities first and then expand to other areas in stages. 

Minoru Kato, chief officer, life creation operations, Honda Motor, said: “The pack has huge potential to electrify all kinds of devices including small-sized mobility products and expand the use of renewable energy. 

“By offering a battery sharing service in India, Honda will contribute to the accelerated electrification of rickshaws and expanded use of renewable energy. 

“Moreover, Honda will continue serving people worldwide with the joy of expanding their life’s potential by further expanding the utilisation of the MPP into broader areas.”

Battery swapping services

Last year, government-owned fossil fuel firm IndianOil partnered with transport infrastructure power company Sun Mobility to set up electric vehicle battery-swapping stations at select fuel stations in cities across India.

A state-of-the-art battery swapping station has been inaugurated at Kapoor Service Station, one of Indian Oil's leading retail outlets in Chandigarh, in northern India.

In April, China fossil fuel company Sinopec signed a strategic agreement with NIO to fit one sixth of its filling stations with the car maker's battery swap facility by 2025.

This represents a big step up for China firm NIO Power, which plans to boost the number of its battery-swap stations from 201 to 5,000 over the next few years.

The new stations are not only fully automated but allow EV drivers to swap their depleted battery for a fully charged one in four-and-a-half minutes with a click of a single button 

In May, Honda was part of a consortium of motorcycle OEMs that joined forces to define the standardised technical specifications of swappable lithium-ion battery system for vehicles.

Other vehicle OEMs were KTM, Piaggio and Yamaha Motor.

The firms signed a letter of intent to create a Swappable Batteries Consortium for Motorcycles and Light Electric Vehicles belonging to the L-category: mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles.

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UL and National Fire Service College partner in Indian lithium-ion fire safety project

Mon, 09/06/2021 - 12:31 -- Paul Crompton

A partnership to advance lithium-ion fire safety and standardisation in India begins this month with a training and knowledge-sharing virtual seminar on electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

The event will bring together key fire safety stakeholders, including those in fire services, academia, associations, standards organisations and research institutes, among others.

The seminar is the first event following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by safety science leader Underwriters Laboratories and the National Fire Service College (NFSC).

NFSC is an Institute of Excellence for training fire and emergency service professionals in Nagpur, India. 

UL and NFSC will explore collaborative opportunities with other regulatory organisations relating to battery fires in electric mobility (e-mobility) and grid energy storage systems.

The two organisations signed the MoU on 30 July as part of the ongoing fire research study ‘Battery Fires: Study of Response Strategy of Indian Fire Services’. 

Dr. Judy Jeevarajan, director of the Underwriters Laboratories Electrochemical Safety Research Institute, said: “Given India’s accelerated use of lithium-ion batteries, it is critical for the nation’s fire services to be prepared with the right knowledge, equipment and infrastructure to handle any emergency fire situations.

“This collaboration is a major step towards creating battery fire safety awareness.”

The NFSC memorandum builds upon an ongoing partnership between UL and the government of India that include a MoU with the Bureau of Indian Standards to strengthen India’s standardisation system. 

UL battery safety experts will lead a training workshop in November on the various safety aspects of lithium-ion batteries and discussions will begin on the development of a battery fire safety NFSC course curriculum.

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MG Motor and Attero partner for responsible recycling of EV batteries in India

Fri, 06/11/2021 - 11:49 -- Paul Crompton
MG Motor and Attero partner for responsible recycling of EV batteries in India

MG Motor India has partnered with urban mining firm Attero to develop ways of reusing and recycling end-of-life lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles in India. 

MG Motor India—the Indian arm of the UK-based vehicle maker— has made the deal in line with India’s vision of creating an end-to-end electric vehicle ecosystem in the country.

The move aims to assist in the responsible recycling, and minimise the carbon footprint, of EV users. 

Nitin Gupta, Attero’s chief executive officer, said: “We believe in sustainable approaches as we are committed to the ‘Clean India, Green India’ vision.”

Attero holds more than 30 global patents for its recycling technologies. 

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India’s second biggest lead-acid battery maker has manufacturing suspension lifted

Mon, 05/17/2021 - 08:45 -- Paul Crompton
India’s second biggest lead-acid battery maker has manufacturing suspension lifted

Indian firm Amara Raja Batteries has restarted the manufacturing of lead-acid batteries following the closure of two of its plants last month.

The company resumed operations at its Nunegundlapalli and Karkambadi plants on 8 May after the High Court of Andhra Pradesh granted an interim suspension of the orders passed by Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB), according to India newspaper The Financial Times.

Amara received closure orders for the company's plants in Andhra Pradesh state on 30 April from APPCB.

The closure order was for allegedly violating the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, reported Indian newspapersThe Hindu.

The Hindu reported “The company has been charged with polluting ambient air, which resulted in the presence of high levels of lead in the blood of its employees and people of surrounding villages, discharging untreated wastewater into drains and untreated sewage into stormwater drains and causing soil contamination”.

In a statement, Amara Raja said it had taken proactive measures to ensure its obligations to supply products and services were met without causing any inconvenience; it was assessing the impact of the short-term disruption.

The Financial Times quoted an Amara Raja statement that read: “Continuing with its focus on the best-in-class systems and processes for environmental, safety and health practices, the company will continue to engage closely with APPCB to resolve any potential issues,.” Amara Raja Batteries noted: “We have taken proactive measures to ensure that all our obligations to supply products and services to our customers are met in a timely manner without causing any inconvenience, whatsoever.”

Amara did not reply to BEST’s questions.

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Amara Raja sets up lithium-ion cells technical hub at Tirupati

Mon, 03/01/2021 - 10:13 -- Vic
Amara Raja Tirupati

Lead battery firm Amara Raja Batteries has opened India’s first technology hub to develop lithium-ion cells, at its Tirupati facility in Andhra Pradesh. Most of India’s electric vehicle (EV) makers import cells from China.

The advanced lithium-ion technology research hub— the pilot project located at its headquarters in Tirupati— will become the country's first lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility in the private sector over the next few years, Amara Raja Batteries CEO, Samudrala Vijayanand, told Press Trust of India.

Despite pushing lithium-ion cell development, Vijayanand feels lead-acid batteries will continue to grow for at least a few more decades and that lithium cells used in electric vehicles will take time to get commercial traction. 

Electric mobility will be led by two- and three-wheelers to begin with in India, primarily because of the higher cost of ownership for four-wheeler EVs, he said.

Vijayanand expects that by 2025, the penetration of two-and three-wheelers will touch 20-25% in the country. The numbers are skewed towards three-wheelers as they are commercially more viable and such a level of penetration can give the critical mass for EV adoption.

The second phase will see the EV industry and its attendant ecosystem maturing, with passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles going electric, and this should happen during 2025-30. "As I see it, private four-wheeler adoption should begin by 2025-27," said Vijayanand.

In January 2019, Amara Raja entered into a technology transfer agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 

Under the technology transfer, ISRO will help these companies set up lithium-ion cell manufacturing units and train their staff.

Subsidies to boost development

Vijayanand also said EV development in general, and lithium-ion batteries in particular, should get a boost with government subsidies under the local production-linked incentive scheme announced last November.

The PLI scheme has earmarked Rs 18,000 crore ($2.5 billion) towards the advanced cell chemistry, which aims to bring at least 50GW of lithium-ion batteries to the market.

On the raw material availability to enable local manufacturing of lithium cells, Vijayanand said more than two-thirds of them are domestically available, only critical minerals have to be imported. For the supply of these minerals, the government is already in talks with Latin American countries and Australia.

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Lead battery maker Exide Industries increases stake in Leclanché JV

Fri, 11/27/2020 - 09:54 -- Paul Crompton

India’s biggest lead-acid battery maker Exide Industries has increased its stake in Nexcharge— the lithium-ion joint venture (JV) it formed with Leclanché in 2018.

Exide increased its shareholding in the JV by 2.28% to bring its total ownership share to 80.15%, the Indian firm said in a stock exchange filing on 23 November.

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Indian firm announces plans for 50,000t/pa graphite anode manufacturing plant

Wed, 08/26/2020 - 10:02 -- Paul Crompton

Coal tar derivatives company Epsilon Carbon is planning to invest up to Rs 500 crore ($67 million) over the next five years to manufacture graphite anode materials for lithium-ion batteries in India.

Introducing itself to the battery material business, the Karnataka, India-based firm, plans to establish a 50,000 tonne per year anode material manufacturing capacity by 2025. 

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Indian state of Kerela set to build lithium-ion batteries

Fri, 06/12/2020 - 09:43 -- Paul Crompton

Titanium dioxide anatase miner Travancore Titanium Products (TTP) is set to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EV) in India, according to reports.

TTP— a public-sector undertaking under the State government of Kerala— has developed lithium trinitrate, the raw material for lithium-ion batteries, reported India news outlet The Hindu

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