Battery maker Exide Industries is working on lithium-ion technology to meet demands of electric vehicle (EV) industry though it believes that traditional lead-acid batteries would remain relevant even when EVs become popular. The company said lithium-ion technology is penetrating into a market, and reduction in its price is making it viable in many segments, which could pose challenges to traditional batteries.
"Your company has also been pursuing the development of appropriate lithium-ion technology for applications in the country particularly for the emerging demands of EVs," the company directors informed shareholders in the Annual Report for 2017-18.
Prototypes have been assembled and are undergoing laboratory and field tests to be followed by submission for certification by regulatory authorities, it added."The work is closely being done under the technical collaboration and guidance of IIT Madras and associated organisation," the report said.
The company said it has the licence to use and manufacture battery packs and modules using lithium-ion technology for various applications developed by Centre for Electric Vehicles, IIT Madras and Grinntech Motors and Services.The licence is effective from August 28, 2017 with validity up to August 27, 2027 and technology absorption is in progress, it added.
Commenting on future opportunities and threats, the reports said:"Contrary to general perceptions, your company believes that lead acid batteries will remain relevant even in the EV world."
Most EVs have a 12V lead-acid battery as an auxiliary battery for SLI (starter, lighting and ignition) application.Unless there is significant change of technology, lead acid batteries will continue to be the most reliable and affordable power source for vehicles, it said.
In the meantime, newer lead acid battery technologies are also redefining the performance limits of the battery."The current growth in automobile sales translates into medium and long-term opportunity for sale of replacement batteries," the company said.
The rapid growth in e-rickshaw population continues unabated and is quickly becoming a huge source of business for aftermarket sales, it added.Exide Industries, however, said being dependent on several other industry segments like automobile, power and manufacturing, makes it susceptible to the performance of these sectors.
On risks and concerns, it said:"There is risk of new battery technology such as lithium-ion technology which is penetrating into market, and reduction in its price is making it viable in many segments."The emerging areas like EVs, solar and telecom are expected to catch the penetration of lithium-ion, the company added.
Stating that it has implemented the lithium-ion technology road map, Exide said it has strategies to tap the market potential and has leveraged the strength of collaborators and technology transfer plan is in place.