Amara Raja Opens Tech-hub for Lithium-ion Cells in Tirupati

Amara Raja Batteries has opened the country’s maiden technology hub to develop lithium-ion cells, at its Tirupati facility in Andhra Pradesh.

Amara Raja Batteries, a leading automotive battery manufacturer in India has announced that it has opened the country’s maiden technology hub to develop lithium-ion cells, at its Tirupati facility in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The company has a technology transfer agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) since early 2019. Under the tech transfer, ISRO will help these companies set up lithium-ion cell manufacturing units and train their staff.

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, according to the firms’ CEO S Vijayanand.

He also told PTI, that the firm has invested Rs 20 crore into the hub, beyond the technology transfer and bidding fees paid to the ISRO in January 2019 when the company along with nine others won competitive bids from the national space agency. The agreement with ISRO for the lithium-ion cell technology transfer is without any royalty payment, he said. Ten companies that got the technology licence have to pay only the bidding fees and technology transfer fees that have already been paid by Amara Raja.

The CEO believes that by 2025, two-and three-wheelers penetration will touch 20-25 percent in the country. The numbers are skewed towards more three-wheelers as they are commercially more viable and such level of penetration can give the critical mass for EV adoption. However, he also opined that despite the push for lithium-ion cell development, lead-acid batteries will continue to grow at least for a few more decades and that lithium cells used in electric vehicles (EVs) will take time to get commercial traction.

Earlier this month, the firm had issued its financial results for the third quarter (Q3) of FY 2021. And also announced that it will be setting up a 50 MW solar power plant in Andhra Pradesh. The firm had also stated in the results that it had inaugurated the “Advanced Lithium Technology Research Hub” with a Pilot plant facility for cell development.

To support the sustainability initiatives, the firm had announced that it is setting up a 50 MW solar power plant in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh at a total outlay of Rs 220 crore. This will further reduce the cost of power and simultaneously bring down the carbon footprint of the company.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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