Electric vehicle trivia: Types of batteries that power EVs in Indian & international markets

The Delhi government announced in August last year its Electric Vehicle Policy, which envisions that 25% of all new vehicle registrations in the national capital would be Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) by 2024

Updated: Mar 18, 2021 1:54 PM
For representational purposes only

A recent study conducted by HIS Markit suggested that about 40% of cars on the road would be electric by 2050. Automobile giants like General Motors have also declared that they plan to sell nearly 1 million EVs per year by 2025 in American and Chinese markets. Even in India, the Delhi government announced in August last year its Electric Vehicle Policy, which envisions that 25% of all new vehicle registrations in the national capital would be Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) by 2024. The aforementioned facts put into perspective the significance and expectations from the EV industry, which thrives on the power of a battery.

A major global giant has announced an investment of $4.5 billion in yet another EV battery plant in the US. Such developments manifest the importance and vitality of the right battery in an electric vehicle. Let’s dwell on which batteries power the blooming range of electric vehicles in India as well as abroad.

Lead-acid: A Lead Acid battery is perfect for EVs that are meant for rugged and rough tough use. Founded by French physicist Gaston Plante over 160 years ago, Lead Acid is a formidable technology that has survived the test of time and currently powering the electric vehicles industry. Despite a very low energy density, Lead Acid routs all other battery chemistries in the segment, thanks to its phenomenal high power density. A lead-Acid battery is a revolutionary technology and powered the first rechargeable cell ever. It has three core components – water, lead and sulphur – and is amongst the most economical options. Engine starter batteries and deep cycle batteries are primary types of Lead Acid batteries. The batteries have traditionally been used to provide continuous electricity to run EVs like forklifts and golf carts.

Cylindrical cells: This battery is ideal for EVs meant for everyday use. Ease of manufacturing and efficient mechanical stability makes Cylindrical cells take the edge over other variants in the segment. The USP of these batteries is their capacity to withstand tremendous internal pressures without getting deformed. They further have a pressure relief mechanism and possess good cycling ability. These batteries have a long calendar life and economical, in fact, offer the lowest costs per Wh. They are extremely power efficient and lightweight. These batteries come with higher shelf life.

Also read: Simple Energy to launch its first electric scooter with 240 km range in May: Secures additional funding

Prismatic battery: The prismatic batteries, fit for exhaustive use, come encased in aluminium and steel and believed to be very space-efficient. Their large capacity and prismatic shape make prismatic batteries one of the most viable options. This battery meets the demand for thinner sizes and reduced manufacturing costs. These cells use a layered approach to make optimum utilization of space. In the case of portable devices, the prismatic cells range from 400mAh to 2000mAh. These cells have a relatively shorter life cycle as against cylindrical batteries.

LFP: It is a more temperature-sensitive option when it comes to batteries that power electric vehicles. While many electric vehicles thrive on batteries comprising cobalt and nickel, but these batteries often tend to get overheated, hence the LFP batteries become a safer and economical alternative. These batteries can be charged frequently in as little as 10 mins, making it possible for vehicles to travel longer distances.

Author: Anmol Bohre, Co-founder, Enigma Automobiles

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or its employees.

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