India to Come out With Advanced Battery Technologies for EVs: Nitin Gadkari

Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the government will adopt an integrated approach and come out with a policy to make India self-reliant in the area of advanced battery technologies to power electric vehicles (EVs) and other applications.

Diving in an integrated approach for developing indigenous fuel cells in the field of EVs, the minister affirms, India today stands at the cusp of becoming the world leader in this field as well as automobile manufacturing. He made these statements after a high-powered meeting (held last night) focussed on research and development in the area of alternative fuel.

Central government’s principal scientific advisor K Vijay Raghavan, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, highways secretary Giridhar Aramane, and senior representatives from DRDO, ISRO, CSIR, and IITs besides minister of state for road transport and highways VK Singh participated in the meeting.

In a conversation with PTI, Gadkari stated, “So far work is happening in silos in the area of alternative fuel. We will now work in an integrated and concerted manner bringing together the best technologies. We will also focus on economic viability…We need a policy in this regard and for it, we have decided to take an integrated approach.”

He added scientists, academia, and industry can together harness green hydrogen-based energy through water, for it is a cost-effective and easily available mode in the country. Also, he indicated the lowering costs of solar power in India, which can help energize other modes of fuels

“Vast scope is there in the area of Lithium-ion battery too despite countries like China dominating in the sector. About 81 percent of Lithium-ion battery components are available locally and India stands a very good chance for value addition at lower costs.

“Our mining entities could look for acquiring component assets globally and grab the opportunity as China has occupied 51 percent but still 49 percent scope is there,” Gadkari added.

Emphasizing the need for advanced and concerted planning the minister said, this is one area where there is good scope for becoming the world leader as the automobile sector which has a turnover of Rs 4.5 lakh crore is set to take it to Rs 10 lakh crore in the future.

The resultant employment generation will be huge and the vehicle scrapping policy under which initially one crore vehicles will go for scrapping will result in the availability of cheaper aluminum, copper, rubber, steel, and other products which will reduce the price of the components.

After going through the presentations from different organizations on different technologies including Lithium-ion, metal-ion, Sodium Sulphur, Hydrogen, Iron Sulphur, Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Cell System, ZincGel, etc, Gadkari said, economic viability is the basis of any successful technology.

Gadkari suggested taking ahead the suggestions put forth in the meeting by integrating industry experience in the field. He assured the participants of his complete commitment to adopting the best technologies.

Additionally, he urged various stakeholders including Niti Aayog, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO), CSIR, ministries of science and technology, heavy industries, commerce, road transport and highways, IITs, and private institutions to join hands in this regard. The private sector has also worked in this regard.

DRDO in its presentation showed how technology transfer has resulted in the manufacturing of 400 batteries of 120 MW by some institutes and added that mass production could reduce its prices.

Niti Ayog declared it has collaborated with four IITs including Guwahati and Delhi for research in aluminum-ion batteries. Its CEO Amitabh Kant emphasized that India should concentrate on lithium-ion alternative batteries and mining sector companies should explore opportunities aborad for acquiring assets in this regard.

Gadkari said next-generation batteries will not only minimize vehicular pollution in India but make India a global supplier of EVs and added that two-wheeler makers like Bajaj, Hero Honda, and TVS are already exporting 50 percent of their production.

Alternative fuel promotion will result in economic growth and would bolster India’s development, Gadkari said. Additionally, he announced that he would be launching a tractor on alternative fuel on Friday.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.

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