The automobile sector is at the center of India’s dramatic shift as electric vehicles (EVs) quickly becoming the country’s preferred source of transportation. Two-wheelers, three-wheelers (e-rickshaws and L5 loaders), four-wheelers, and electric buses are all examples of electric vehicles.
With the inevitable move to electric vehicles, it is critical that if not all then some automotive components are manufactured in India. India now relies on other nations for EV cells, semiconductors for battery management systems (BMS), magnets for electric vehicle motors, and other electrical equipment. In this article we will understand why India needs Made-in-India Lithium Batteries and why its the high time.
While the Indian government encourages local automakers to switch to electric vehicles, they must also see the writing on the wall and strive for a strategic position in the global value chain to diversify their supply channels away from their neighbors. At a time when the Make in India effort is promoting the development of a world-class manufacturing infrastructure in the country, this reliance on imports must be reduced, if not abolished entirely.
Made in India Lithium Batteries: By India and For India
Manufacturing sector and companies must develop solutions that are unique to India. This is need of hour for India to become completely self-sufficient. Because of the country’s unique weather and road conditions, whatever design or battery management methods work in China may not work here. EV batteries must be able to survive not just the country’s harsh driving conditions, but also the weather, which has a significant impact on the range, safety, and performance of electric vehicles. Indian producers should take into account conditions such as road vibrations, harsh temperatures, excessive humidity, rain, flood, and dust, among others.
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) must dedicate adequate time and money to ensure that electric vehicle batteries are safe to use in commercial applications. Before launching commercial manufacturing, comprehensive on-road durability testing over a longer length of time is required. Furthermore, a smart BMS must be required to control these external factors and assure battery safety and performance. It is vital to have a solid awareness of all of these factors.
Why do we need a battery that is specific to India?
Electric vehicles use lithium batteries, which, like people, do not like to be exposed to excessive heat or cold. When lithium batteries are pushed beyond their limits, their performance and safety are jeopardized. When it comes to lithium-ion batteries, though, India has a distinct advantage. Due to its reduced assembly costs, India has the potential to be a world leader in both pack assembly and battery management system (BMS) technologies. The battery’s voltage, current, and temperature are monitored by the BMS, which then changes the charging rate to maintain the required constant current/constant voltage (CC/CV) charging profile. India’s software skills open up a plethora of options in BMS Technology.
With IoT and connectivity, Li-ion battery packs require a lot of software. While the cells are currently imported, we have the opportunity to assemble a smart battery pack that is specifically designed for Indian needs. These software layers can provide an unprecedented level of security, stability, and performance.
When it comes to Li-Ion batteries, there are a variety of chemistries and compositions to choose from, including Nickel, Manganese, and Cobalt (NMC) and Nickel, Cobalt, and Aluminum (NCA). Electric two-wheelers in India necessitate a higher energy density, hence NMC batteries are chosen.
Lithium Ferro Phosphate, or LFP, on the other hand, has a longer lifecycle but a lower energy density, making it a better choice for three-wheelers.
Lithium-Titanium-Oxide, or LTO, is a preferred choice for some specific applications since it is incredibly robust but also very expensive.
There is, however, no single chemistry that will meet all of India’s needs. Because most Indians ride in two- or three-wheeled vehicles, a sophisticated battery with advanced cooling devices is not feasible. The battery must be designed in such a way that it can be easily removed and replaced with a new battery pack. When deciding on the correct chemistry and battery for the country’s electric vehicles, high range, fast charging, long lifespan, lightweight, safety, affordability, and replaceability are all variables to consider.
India’s e-mobility journey to self-sufficiency
The government recognizes that EVs, solar-distributed renewable energy, telecommunication towers, and data centers have a market in India. For investments in Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) battery manufacture, a PLI (Production-Linked Incentive) scheme with a budget of INR 18,100 crores has been approved. In addition, the FAME-II program (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) has received INR 100 billion in funding to be distributed as EV buyer incentives.
NITI Aayog has released the much-anticipated draft policy on battery swapping. The strategy intends to promote large-scale EV adoption by promoting stakeholder involvement and supporting the usage of battery swapping technologies. The policy supports FAME-II-sponsored OEMs as well as the ACC PLI program. However, for the time being, the policy only advantages high-speed charging for vehicles with a specified minimum range, not for vehicles with lower capacity or smaller ranges. The regulation ignores the difference in GST treatment between batteries and electric vehicles, as well as the lack of size standardization for interoperability. The amount of the battery manufacturer’s subsidy must be determined.
On the plus side, the policy prioritizes safety, security, and, most crucially, IoT-enabled batteries for remote monitoring and data collecting in real-time. Because data analysis will play a large part in the on-road deployment of these critical components in an EV, it establishes the necessity for smart BMS and monitoring systems. Even though more than half of BMS are imported, this regulation will encourage the development of local BMS and related equipment. Furthermore, it mandates that all battery makers produce a unique identification number (UIN) that includes the battery’s capacity, voltage, and other relevant data.
For the EV ecosystem in India, these characteristics will need considerable technological development and deployment.
Everything revolves around battery technology, as well as the various complexities that surround it, such as access to raw materials and manufacturing. By analyzing numerous characteristics inside a battery, a smart BMS can calculate the level of charge and the health of the battery. It also comes with accurate, advanced algorithms for measuring battery safety, reliability, and performance. The BMS now being imported provide very little protection and are not designed for the Indian climate. The smart BMS is also data-enabled (4G-enabled), allowing it to not only protect the battery but also monitor and control how it performs under various conditions.
Because no two cells are identical in terms of electrochemistry, cell balancing is essential for battery safety.
As a result, if India is to meet its high goals for the electric car industry, it must outlaw all low-quality battery management systems and other low-quality components imported from neighboring nations. Specific and distinct solutions for India are urgently needed in comparison to what is currently accessible in western applications. India also has local services, technology, and support, all of which will help Indian firms scale up to more quickly than their worldwide competitors. Furthermore, local manufacturers will benefit from lower prices thanks to government exemptions and subsidies.
These elements will aid India’s business sector in achieving its primary goal of creating adaptable, inexpensive, and completely safe batteries. For electric vehicles, safety should take precedence above all other considerations.
If you want to know about the EV policies of Indian States, then here we have compiled all of the data at one place for you.
The content of this article is taken from Times of India