State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) on Tuesday said it has acquired a minority stake in Israeli battery developer Phinergy Ltd for developing ultra lightweight metal-air batteries that can be used in electric vehicles (EVs). “To start with, IOC has taken a minority equity stake in Phinergy,” the company said in a statement, without giving details about the size of interest or the acquisition cost. Founded in 2008, Phinergy develops an assortment of zero-emission batteries including aluminum-air and zinc-air batteries designed to offer power sources for electric cars.
IOC and Phinergy will form a joint venture in India to collaborate in developing aluminium-air battery system including research & development, customisation, manufacturing, assembly, sell and service of aluminium-air energy systems technology. “The joint venture intends to set up a factory in India to manufacture aluminium-air batteries for electric vehicles and stationary applications and facilitate development of eco-system for Al-Air technology,” the statement said.
Phinergy specialises in aluminium-air (Al-Air) and zinc-air battery systems that have great potential applications in electric mobility and stationary applications. Aluminium is naturally available in India and its extraction and recycling technologies are also very well established. “IOC’s collaboration with Phinergy in the field of Al-Air will help in reducing import dependence of the country and isolates the country’s energy requirements from global geo-political and currency risks,” it said.
IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh said the company is evaluating and firming up a number of opportunities to provide Indian automobile consumers feasible and scalable alternative energy options. “We are confident that this Al-Air battery technology would complement Lithium-ion batteries to provide a hybrid solution for large-scale adoption of electric vehicles in the country. Al-air battery technology has advantages on a number of factors like range, energy density, safety of operations, life-cycle etc., the India-centric,” he said.
Phinergy is a start-up in clean and high energy-density battery systems based on metal-air technology, which generates electricity using aluminium or zinc as an energy source mainly. “Both companies are in discussions with leading auto manufactures for adoption of this technology in 3Ws, cars & buses and they have also shown interest in evaluation and subsequent adoption of this technology,” the statement said.