Indian Oil Corporation plans to launch aluminium-air batteries for EVs to help government achieve lower gas emissions

AL Circle

According to a recent report, State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is planning to offer a more cost-effective alternative to lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and stationary applications by launching the first-of-its-kind aluminium-air batteries. These batteries are likely to be manufactured in sites closer to demand centres such as Chennai or Pune.

Indian Oil Corporation plans to launch aluminium-air batteries for EVs

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In February 2020, Indian Oil Corporation bought a minority stake in Israel-based startup Phinergy, specialised in aluminium-air and zin-air battery systems.

According to IOC’s Research & Development Director SSV Ramakumar’s statement to Financial Express, the company has already initiated discussions with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the Indian automotive sector. He said, “The aluminium-air batteries are expected to reduce the cost and their adoption by the EV and other industries in the country.”

Ramakumar added that test runs could be done either in India or in Israel to run on the prototypes prepared by Phinergy.

He also explained the reason why the public sector oil company is planning to diversify in aluminium-air batteries is because of its lightweight and no necessity for electrical charge. Aluminium-air batteries are one-fourth of the weight of Lithium-ion batteries and run more than double on a single charge.

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“The proven range in India of any variant of Lithium-ion battery is between 150-200 km/charge, but Aluminium-air batteries even on a modest expectation run more than 400 km/charge,” said Ramakumar.

The objective of Indian Oil Corporation for this new initiative is to help the Indian government achieve lower greenhouse gas emissions by shifting conventional fuel-driven passenger cars into electric vehicles by 2030. At present India imports 100% of its EV and other Lithium-ion based batteries from abroad.

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