Locally Manufactured Batteries Can Prevent EV Fires

Highlights :

Indian weather conditions and temperature cycles are different from the countries from where the batteries in use in India are imported at present.



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Indian industry is betting on locally manufactured battery cells to control the design and prevent the untoward incidents like recent spate of electric two-wheeler batteries causing vehicle fires. Suzuki, Toshiba and Denso have already announced a lithium-ion battery plant at their joint venture unit in Gujarat. Tata Group is drawing up plans to launch a battery company in India as it transitions to build more electric vehicles. Reliance NSE 1.36 % recently tied up with US-based battery technology startup company Ambri Inc. Others like Amara Raja NSE 0.86 %, a leading conventional battery maker, have invested in battery tech startup Log9 Materials. Manufactured abroad, most EV cells in use in India undergo heading and temperature cycling tests after import. It is not always tailor made to Indian temperature cycle.

Elaborating further, Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, said, “The cooling or heating of the cells (depending upon the external temperature, driving pattern, road conditions, power availability) is being managed through an active or passive ‘battery management system’ which is customised and optimised for use in different conditions,”.

“When made locally, it’s easier to build competency and control the process. India now has the opportunity to step up the game in battery design, certification and in control systems,” said Chetan Maini, chairman of Sun Mobility. It explains why the existing lead-acid cell makers, auto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and energy companies are scrambling to diversify their portfolio are in the fray. “These companies are all seeking a major share of the battery pie, depending upon the business case,” added Amitabh Kant.

However, that is not enough given the outcry following the incidents of EV battery fire. What needs to be ensured is that the imported cells carry the valid test certificates, meet the minimum code conditions to avoid non-standard cell usage, said Venkat Rajaraman, CEO of lithium-ion battery pack maker Cygni Energy.

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