How locally-made aluminum air batteries may be big boost to EV adoption in India

Due to its light weight and high energy density, an aluminum-air battery significantly increases the driving range of Electric Vehicles.
By : PTI
| Updated on: 19 Jul 2022, 14:49 PM
File photo used for representational purpose.
File photo used for representational purpose.
File photo used for representational purpose.
File photo used for representational purpose.

Leading Indian and Israeli companies have teamed up to create cutting edge aluminum-air batteries for Electric Vehicles that could make its adoption easier in India by extending its driving range without the need for charging infrastructure, reduce battery imports, and also give a boost to the Atmanitbhar Bharat initiative by enhancing energy security.

Aditya Birla Group's metal flagship, Hindalco, has signed an MoU with Phinergy, a leading Israel-based pioneer in metal-air battery technology, and IOC Phinergy Private Limited (IOP) - a joint venture between Phinergy and Indian Oil Corporation, to create aluminum-air batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), a joint press release by the companies said on Monday.

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According to the MOU, Phinergy and IOP will partner exclusively with Hindalco in India on R&D and pilot production of aluminum plates for Aluminum-Air batteries, and recycling of aluminum, after usage in these batteries.

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In the Aluminum-Air battery, developed by Phinergy, energy is released when aluminum reacts with oxygen in ambient air to produce aluminum hydroxide.

Due to its light weight and high energy density, an Aluminum-Air battery significantly increases the driving range of Electric Vehicles.

It also enables quick ‘refuelling’ and eliminates the need for expensive nationwide charging networks, the press release said.

Aluminum-air batteries are expected to make EV adoption more convenient, and accelerate the transition to zero emission mobility.

"The leading automobile manufacturers in India are currently testing the technology. An added benefit is that aluminum hydroxide in the battery can be recycled to recover aluminum", the press release said.

Anat Bernstein-Reich, Chairperson of the Israel-India Chamber of Commerce and CEO of BDO Israel-India Investment Banking, who played a pivotal role in bringing the partners together told PTI that “this year we celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations.

Furthermore, the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) between our two countries is about to conclude. Such partnership is the classical example of taking the best of both worlds for the betterment of the world and toward a sustainable future," she said.

She is representing the innovation arm of the Aditya Birla Group in Israel.

“Climate action is integral to our business and our partnership with Phinergy and IOP is a significant step towards decarbonising mobility. The partnership is also a testament to Hindalco’s globally recognized capabilities in innovation and R&D and we are happy to contribute to the development of the Aluminum-Air battery", Satish Pai, Managing Director, Hindalco Industries Limited was quoted as saying.

"India has an abundance of aluminum resources and this technology can help enhance the nation’s energy and resource security," Pai added.

The Israeli innovative cleantech company's CEO, David Mayer, said that the batteries will contribute to the clean energy revolution in India.

“The partnership with Hindalco, a global aluminum industry leader, is a major step in the deployment of Aluminum-Air batteries in India and we are confident this collaboration will significantly enhance the development of an ecosystem enabling to supply 'aluminum as energy' made in India", Phinergy's CEO emphasized.

Sanjeev Gupta, Chairman, IOP, said that IOP was incorporated with the objective of commercialization and manufacturing of Aluminum-Air energy systems in India to strengthen its energy security.

Aluminum is abundantly available in India and its usage as an energy storage medium through this novel technology has the potential to contribute immensely to AtmanirbharBharat, he said.

"This partnership with Hindalco, a global leader in sustainable aluminum solutions, is a big step towards catalyzing our efforts to develop a favourable ecosystem for faster dissemination of the Aluminum-Air battery technology. The collaboration will propel India's aspirational journey towards sustainable, affordable and safe energy options for stationary and e-Mobility purposes," he asserted.

The EV market, which would be the primary segment for Aluminum-Air batteries, is projected to achieve cumulative sales of 80 million units by 2030, according to a joint report by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and NITI Aayog.

Aluminum-Air batteries offer a viable alternative to other battery chemistries and will boost the domestic manufacturing of batteries to meet India’s growing demand for energy storage, the press statement said.

First Published Date: 19 Jul 2022, 14:49 PM IST
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