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Representational photo (AFP)
Representational photo (AFP)

Indian Oil, Israeli firm JV to manufacture metal-air batteries for EVs

  • Indian Oil and its Israeli partner plan to manufacture EV batteries using aluminium instead of lithium.
  • Aluminum is a resource that is naturally available in India and its extraction and recycling technologies are also very well established in the country.

State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Israeli battery developer Phinergy formed a joint venture (JV) on Wednesday to build ultra-lightweight metal-air batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). First customers of the joint venture are Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland.

The JV will use aluminum to make batteries for EVs instead of lithium so that EV can charge faster and give a longer run. This will "help overcome most of the challenges facing EVs including range anxiety, higher cost of purchase and safety issues," IOC Chairman S M Vaidya was quoted as saying by PTI.

Aluminum is a resource that is naturally available in India and its extraction and recycling technologies are also very well established in the country. Thus, using aluminium in EV batteries will boost India's existing aluminum industry as well as promote the 'Make in India' drive. "It will help the country become self-reliant in the energy field," Vaidya added.

(Also read | Amara Raja begins work on lithium-ion cells, sets up research hub at Tirupati)

IOC had acquired a minority stake in Phinergy Ltd in February last year. It has now formed a JV with the latter called - IOC Phinergy Pvt Ltd, that will manufacture aluminum-air systems using mostly recycled aluminum. The JV plans to set up a factory in India to manufacture aluminum-air batteries for electric vehicles and stationary applications.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, on the occasion of the forming on the JV said that it will push India towards clean, sustainable, affordable, safe and long-lasting energy options as well as support faster adoption of e-vehicles in the country. Oil Secretary Tarun Kapoor highlighted that the country's energy demand is going to increase at a faster pace compared to the world. Thus, the government is looking for a breakthrough in storage technology-batteries that are compact, cheaper, lighter and have higher energy density.

(Also read | eBikeGo starts recycling EV batteries to reduce e-waste)

Israel's Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz appreciated the initiative, marking it as indicative of increasingly close cooperation between the two countries.

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