India to formulate policy for “new battery technologies for EVs”

What is the News?

The Union Minister has said that India will soon come out with a policy for the next generation of battery technologies for Electric Vehicles(EVs).

What will be the focus of the upcoming Policy?

  • The policy will look for alternative battery technologies for electric vehicles like metal-ion, metal-air, hydrogen fuel cells to replace lithium-ion batteries. It will reduce India’s dependence on other countries for its import within this decade.

Why will this policy be crucial?

  • China is currently the leader in supplying lithium-ion batteries to the world. India’s EV industry is heavily dependent on the import of batteries. China also has stakes in strategic reserves of lithium mines in other countries. Hence, the policy to boost R&D on battery technology will be significant.

Lithium-Ion Batteries:

  • Lithium-Ion is a type of rechargeable battery. These batteries are commonly used for portable electronics and electric vehicles. These batteries are growing in popularity for military and aerospace applications.

Shortcomings of Lithium-Ion Batteries:

  • Protection required: Lithium-ion cells and batteries are not as robust as some other rechargeable technologies. They require protection from being overcharged and discharged too far.
  • Higher Cost: A major lithium-ion battery disadvantage is their cost. Typically, they are around 40% more costly to manufacture than Nickel-cadmium cells.
  • Transportation: A lot of restrictions are in place for the transportation of Lithium-ion batteries especially large quantities by air.
  • Ageing: Lithium-ion batteries naturally degrade, as they suffer from ageing. Normally Lithium-ion batteries are able to withstand 500 – 1000 charge and discharge cycles before their capacity falls to 50%.
  • Sensitivity to a high temperature – Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to the too much heat caused by overheating of the device or overcharging. Heat causes the cells or packs of this battery to degrade faster than they normally would.

Possible Alternatives to Lithium-Ion Batteries:

  • Aluminum-ion Batteries: Aluminum-ion batteries provide increased safety and faster charging time at a lower cost than lithium-ion batteries. However, there are still issues with these batteries. Stanford University is a leading developer of aluminum-ion batteries.
  • Solid-state Batteries: Solid-state batteries have solid elements. It provides several advantages: less fire-related safety issues, extended lifetime, decreased need for expensive cooling systems, and operability in an extended temperature range.

Click here to read about Lithium

 Source: Indian Express

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