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Cygni to install Gigafactory to produce 4,00,000 battery packs per annum in India

In an interaction with Mr. Venkat Rajaraman, Founder and CEO of Cygni Energy. The company revealed that Cygni will be installing a greenfield Gigafactory in India that will produce 4,00,000 battery packs per annum.

Electric Vehicles are the talk of the town. The EV segment is growing in India at a rapid pace, especially the two-wheeler segment. We have multiple EV players in this category and to boost the EV revolution, there are local battery makers as well. One such company is Cygni. Cygni is one of India’s leading storage technology companies with expertise in EV batteries (2W & 3W) and energy storage systems. We recently got a chance to interact with Mr. Venkat Rajaraman, Founder and CEO of Cygni Energy. Here are its key excerpts. 

Q) An overview of the lithium-ion battery sector in India and how it is shaping up?

The electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers have taken the centre stage for Li-ion battery adoption in the country. This is followed by the deployment of Li-ion batteries in stationary applications, including telecom, data centers, etc. These two segments are key drivers of clean energy adoption worldwide and in India alike. Multiple industry think tanks estimate a total requirement of 50 GWh over the next five to six years and growth of up to 80GWh by 2030.

Q) What is the scope and potential for battery-swapping in India?

The battery swapping ecosystem will witness an increased adoption by last-mile delivery operators and in the commercial e-mobility segment, considering that the vehicle uptime is directly equated with their revenue. With the demand and usage pattern in India, both swapping and charging infrastructure will co-exist. Both cater to different segments and different needs; wherein slow charging will be used for overnight charging, which is more amenable for the office commuters and for personal usage.

On the other hand, battery swapping is financially viable for the commercial vehicle segment and last-mile delivery operators. The lack of standardization of EV batteries is an entry-level barrier for the swapping industry. For effective implementation of swapping, the government is planning to roll out the swapping standards in the next few months. The current estimates showcase about 10 million EVs will run on Indian roads over the next 3-5 years, highlighting a huge opportunity for battery swapping in India. 

Q) How will technology play a major role in this industry?

Technology will play an important role in the EV–battery segment owing to the diverse requirements of each application in the varied weather conditions across India. While most western countries are focusing on battery technology for large format battery packs to be used for electric 4Ws, the Indian market has witnessed increased uptake of EV 2Ws and 3Ws. Further, safety should be the priority for battery manufacturers and safe batteries are possible with intelligent battery packs. Intelligent algorithms and IoT is going to play a critical role in monitoring the performance and life of the battery. 

Q) How India can create an edge over China in the EV battery ecosystem?

Technology will play a major role for India and it will be the true differentiator in creating an edge over China in the EV battery ecosystem. India’s strengths in software create huge opportunities in the EV space. The Li-ion battery packs are software-intensive, with IoT and connectivity.  While the cells are currently imported from China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, etc., we have an opportunity to put together a smart battery pack, which is tailored for Indian requirements. These layers of software can give an unprecedented level of safety, reliability, and performance.  

Q) From being the first brand to be recognized under the ‘Make in India’ (Start-up India) initiative in 2016 to today, Cygni’s strengths and growth journey so far?

Cygni is working towards revolutionizing the renewable energy space through technologically superior solutions. It has an installed base of close to 125MWh of distributed energy storage and has powered over 25,000 EVs so far. The key strength of the company is in application-specific design with a high focus on quality and software-enabled smart battery packs. Cygni has also received two patents in the domain of EV and Energy Storage batteries and two more are in the pipeline.

Q) What is the current product range of Cygni?

Cygni is one of India’s leading storage technology companies with expertise in EV Batteries (2W & 3W) and stationary Energy Storage Systems. The company’s product portfolio includes 16 different products, 10 of which are said to be approved by the Automobile Research Association of India (ARAI). The company’s EV battery packs are in the range of 1.5 kWh and 10 kWh. The battery packs for the energy storage systems for telecom towers go up to 100 kWh, all of which are claimed to be smart, intelligent battery packs. 

Q) Are these batteries (including cells) made in India?

India does not have the local manufacturing capabilities yet, and thus the cells are not produced in India. But all the other components outside of cells are made in India, whether it is the battery management system, the plastic or aluminum or sheet metal enclosures, the nickel or copper bus bars, and the balance of the system. With the government intervention and technological advantage, it is expected that cell localization will also happen in India over the next five years. 

Q) Can you share a bit about Cygni’s future plans?

In the immediate plan, Cygni is setting up a greenfield Gigafactory, with a 1,200 MWh capacity and having the capability to produce about 4,00,000 battery packs a year. This facility is said to be a state-of-art manufacturing unit with laser welding, automatic cell sorting, EOL testing, etc. with portable machines and equipment. Moreover, Battery technology is expected to constantly evolve over the next five to seven years.

Cygni says that it will remain a chemistry-agnostic energy storage company and its endeavor is to remain up to date on the technology, as well as in terms of manufacturing capacity because both scale and technology are going to be important. 

Also Read: Tata Avinya electric SUV concept revealed: Claims 500 km+ driving range

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