1. Good news: After satellites, ‘desi’ lithium batteries to power electric vehicles in India

Good news: After satellites, ‘desi’ lithium batteries to power electric vehicles in India

The battery technology that powers India’s satellites is all set to now power the country’s electric vehicles.

By: | Pune | Updated: January 20, 2017 6:51 AM
The Isro-ARAI combine has developed a lithium ion battery for automotive application and is looking at partnering with companies to commercialise the technology. The Isro-ARAI combine has developed a lithium ion battery for automotive application and is looking at partnering with companies to commercialise the technology.

The battery technology that powers India’s satellites is all set to now power the country’s electric vehicles. In a major breakthrough for the country’s electric vehicle programme, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) have jointly developed a lithium ion battery for automotive application. The first of the lithium battery prototype was installed on an electric two-wheeler and unveiled at the ARAI in Pune on Wednesday. These batteries will also soon power small commercial vehicles with a bigger battery and a higher volt. The ISRO-ARAI combine is now looking at partnering with automotive companies to commercialise this technology.

The country imports 100% of the lithium battery requirements, and so far, there is no manufacturing in the country, T Mookiah, associate director, (R&D), Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, and deputy director, VSSC, said. ISRO has been using these batteries in their satellites and has adapted this technology for the automotive applications, ISRO worked on the cell development and modifying it for automotives as their requirements were different. There are only a few companies across the world that have the technology to make these cells and ISRO is among them.

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ARAI and ISRO has been working on the technology since August 2015 after Nitin Gadkari, Union minister, MoRTH, brought the two agencies to work together and make these batteries in India. ARAI has tested and validated the battery and was responsible for battery management using its own proprietary system.

These include battery integration, packaging, adapting to Indian driving conditions, carrying out the deep charge and deep discharge test, thermal management and duty cycles. The two-wheeler had capacity to run at 90 kms per charge with capability to go up to 150 km per charge.

Anand Deshpande, convenor of SIAT 2017, and deputy director, ARAI, said while the raw material for the battery is imported, rest of the value chain can be done in India and manufactured here. “While ISRO needs reliability at any cost, for the automotive industry it was about reliability at an affordable cost. ARAI worked on converting these cells to a battery and now the challenge is to manufacture it in India. The cost of these batteries will go down when we start mass manufacturing,” Deshpande said. A 50% reduction in cost is likely.

The prototype that was unveiled on Wednesday is loaded with 48 Volt 50 ampere-hour battery and successfully runs up to 90 kms once charged for 2 hours and the charging time will be down to one hour soon. The running cost per km could be around 20 to 30 paise per km with the vehicle attaining speed of 40-50 kms per hour. ISRO has a tie up with BHEL to manufacture these batteries.

  1. M
    M Bose
    Aug 15, 2017 at 3:14 pm
    Vishwas Patil is right. We are already a laggard in this field like in Electronics. We are yet to design our own aircraft. ISRO is reinventing zero. We must go for latest non lithium short charging time, long range batteries. Leave it to private sector
    Reply
    1. V
      Vishwas Patil
      Aug 12, 2017 at 8:59 pm
      ISRO scientists successfully sent rocket to Mars. Why EV batteries so mundane? China already started manufacturing 90 kW, 350 km range, 20 minute recharge batteries. Why fool people claiming as if you have achieved something great? ISRO's 90 km range 2-hr recharge EV battery will have no takers. BHEL as usual will end up with losses. New batteries techs are for non-lithium batteries, 20-minute recharge, fire-proof, 500-km range lower weight batteries. ISRO scientists working on EV batteries are fooling the people and probably the Govt. too.
      Reply
      1. Sundaram Ramakrishnan
        Aug 7, 2017 at 8:53 pm
        Sir, This what i "m waiting dia should enter this lithium battery field.Other wise our dream for "go green" become an empty chant.I am enthusiatic in EV and using a 250watt ,36volt E.bike since last 26 months.Do great achievements and need not depend other country.Go ahead please.
        Reply
        1. I
          Indian
          Jan 25, 2017 at 7:25 am
          Great. Imagine if the commuter bikes in India comes with this battery technology instead of petrol. The cost of battery is the main factor for the less range and trying to maintain the same cost with petrol variants. If battery cost is cut by half when m manufactured, then the cost of the electric bikes and scotters will go down the petrol variants. Also the running cost is nearly 1/8th of the petrol variants. It's a win for the daily traveling common man to have an affordable bike and that's cheapers to charge and that gives pretty decent range of 90 km. Chargeable in one or two hours is amazing.
          Reply
          1. J
            Jay
            Jan 20, 2017 at 5:16 pm
            A WIN WIN WIN IDEA from the MODI GOVT
            Reply
            1. V
              Vishwas Patil
              Aug 12, 2017 at 9:03 pm
              What google search for the latest EV battery technology and then comment. ISRO is fooling people by passing off the batteries of the capacity and specs that people world-wide no more use. Pl don't be bling nationalist. It carries the risk of getting fooled and manipulated.
              Reply
            2. J
              Jay
              Jan 21, 2017 at 5:36 pm
              Think DESI, speak DESI, Work DESI, Be DESI and BECOME the envy of the world like we were 500 years ago
              Reply
              1. R
                Ramesh Lahoti
                Oct 4, 2017 at 7:00 pm
                A Nation which thinks with only half its brain can be witnessed every day by seeing footpaths, roads, the manner in which cables are laid A nation which enjoys filth because sudden cleanliness shall create mass deaths. It is not in the Indian psyche to have clean surroundings, beautiful gardens, etc., etc. The Egyptians 12,000 years ago built the pyramids with mathematical precision and infrastructure hear is already 100 years old when the work is two months in the making. Jay, you are right.
                Reply
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