Leading Indian and Israeli companies have teamed up to create cutting edge aluminium-air batteries for Electric Vehicles that could make its adoption easier in India by extending its driving range without the need for charging infrastructure, reduce battery imports, and also give a boost to the Atmanitbhar Bharat initiative by enhancing energy security. Aditya Birla Group’s metal flagship, Hindalco, has signed an MoU with Phinergy, a leading Israel-based pioneer in metal-air battery technology, and IOC Phinergy Private Limited (IOP) – a joint venture between Phinergy and Indian Oil Corporation, to create aluminium-air batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), a joint press release by the companies said on Monday.
According to the MOU, Phinergy and IOP will partner exclusively with Hindalco in India on R&D and pilot production of aluminium plates for Aluminium-Air batteries, and recycling of aluminium, after usage in these batteries.
In the Aluminium-Air battery, developed by Phinergy, energy is released when aluminium reacts with oxygen in ambient air to produce aluminium hydroxide.
Due to its light weight and high energy density, an Aluminium-Air battery significantly increases the driving range of Electric Vehicles.
It also enables quick ‘refuelling’ and eliminates the need for expensive nationwide charging networks, the press release said.
Aluminium-air batteries are expected to make EV adoption more convenient, and accelerate the transition to zero emission mobility.
“The leading automobile manufacturers in India are currently testing the technology. An added benefit is that aluminium hydroxide in the battery can be recycled to recover aluminium”, the press release said.
Anat Bernstein-Reich, Chairperson of the Israel-India Chamber of Commerce and CEO of BDO Israel-India Investment Banking, who played a pivotal role in bringing the partners together told PTI that “this year we celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations.
Furthermore, the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) between our two countries is about to conclude. Such partnership is the classical example of taking the best of both worlds for the betterment of the world and toward a sustainable future,” she said.
She is representing the innovation arm of the Aditya Birla Group in Israel.
“Climate action is integral to our business and our partnership with Phinergy and IOP is a significant step towards decarbonising mobility. The partnership is also a testament to Hindalco’s globally recognised capabilities in innovation and R&D and we are happy to contribute to the development of the Aluminium-Air battery”, Satish Pai, Managing Director, Hindalco Industries Limited was quoted as saying.
“India has an abundance of aluminium resources and this technology can help enhance the nation’s energy and resource security,” Pai added.
The Israeli innovative cleantech company’s CEO, David Mayer, said that the batteries will contribute to the clean energy revolution in India.
“The partnership with Hindalco, a global aluminium industry leader, is a major step in the deployment of Aluminium-Air batteries in India and we are confident this collaboration will significantly enhance the development of an ecosystem enabling to supply ‘aluminium as energy’ made in India”, Phinergy’s CEO emphasised.
Sanjeev Gupta, Chairman, IOP, said that IOP was incorporated with the objective of commercialisation and manufacturing of Aluminium-Air energy systems in India to strengthen its energy security.
Aluminium is abundantly available in India and its usage as an energy storage medium through this novel technology has the potential to contribute immensely to AtmanirbharBharat, he said.
“This partnership with Hindalco, a global leader in sustainable aluminium solutions, is a big step towards catalysing our efforts to develop a favourable ecosystem for faster dissemination of the Aluminium-Air battery technology. The collaboration will propel India’s aspirational journey towards sustainable, affordable and safe energy options for stationary and e-Mobility purposes,” he asserted.
The EV market, which would be the primary segment for Aluminium-Air batteries, is projected to achieve cumulative sales of 80 million units by 2030, according to a joint report by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and NITI Aayog.
Aluminium-Air batteries offer a viable alternative to other battery chemistries and will boost the domestic manufacturing of batteries to meet India’s growing demand for energy storage, the press statement said.