To avoid future dependency on China for lithium batteries, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) will reportedly make an alumina-based battery, which will be used for running electric vehicles.
The company executives said a foreign company had been working as a partner with IOCL for the development and research of this new technology, which would be introduced in the market once all the regulatory and other approvals are in place. Currently, the company is looking out for a space around the automotive hubs like Chennai or other similar places, said the executives further.
In January 2018, commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland had signed a letter of intent with Phinery of Israel for the development of aluminium air batteries. According to industry experts, aluminium air batteries produce electricity by the reaction between aluminium and oxygen available in the surrounding air.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman in her budget speech in July said mega factories for producing batteries would be setting up in India to make the country a hub of electric vehicles in coming years.
The government in March had announced a plan to set up Tesla-like battery manufacturing Giga plants in India under National Mission on Transformative Mobility.
A Niti Aayog report said India had an early start of power-electronics industry. Power-electronics is widely used in electric vehicles. But over the last decade, India could not keep pace with latest developments of digitisation in the industry. So, the country would now require a new power-electronics industry, which can help develop and produce high-efficiency sub-systems for EV industries.
A recent Icra report claimed that the battery cost of EVs, which accounts for almost one-third of the total cost, would remain a key determinant factor for the acceptance of EVs globally. The cost of lithium-ion EV battery in 2017 sharply fell to $208/Kwh, compared to $800/Kwh in 2011.
Currently, the electric vehicles industry in India is at a nascent stage. It is less than 1 per cent of the total vehicles sales but has the potential to grow over 5 per cent in the next few years, according to industry experts.