State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is planning to launch first-of-its-kind aluminium-air batteries that are potentially a more cost-effective alternative to lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles (EV) and stationary applications.
The idea is to manufacture these barriers in sites closer to demand centres such as Chennai or Pune. IOC bought a minority stake in Israel-based startup Phinergy that specialises in aluminium-air and zinc-air battery systems in February. SSV Ramakumar, Director (R&D) at IOC told Financial Express that the company has initiated discussions with the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the Indian automotive sector.
Test runs can be done either in India or they can be taken to Israel to run on the prototypes prepared by the Israeli company. “The aluminium-air batteries are expected to reduce the cost and their adoption by the EV and other industries in the country,” said Ramakumar.
The reason why the public sector oil company is evaluating the Al-air batteries is because of its lightweight and not having the necessity to electrically charge the batteries, unlike Lithium-ion variants. Ramakumar, who pioneered the Aluminium-air project at IOC, said, these batteries are one-fourth the weight of Lithium-ion batteries, and run more than double the lithium-ion batteries on a single charge.