The world eyes on new battery technology to fulfil the demand for batteries to power electric vehicles. It is high time we realise the drastic effects of not shifting to renewable energy sources. The gasoline-powered vehicles are not efficient in terms of the resources they consume and the service they deliver while also hindering our commitment towards sustainable development. Various Electronic Vehicle Manufacturing companies are working hard on research and development of new battery technology for EVs that can provide a reliable power source which has a long life, fast charge time, high energy density and low cost of production. If such objectives are achieved by the EV companies then it will be game-changing for the whole electric vehicle industry.
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Why is There a Need for New Battery Technology?
Many challenges are faced by EV operators which include the inconvenience of stopping at a charging station and waiting for the charging process to complete. The range of an electric vehicle is also an important factor in deciding whether to buy an electric vehicle or its traditional counterpart. These major challenges clubbed with various other problems faced by EV consumers lead to a drop in sales of EVs. Word of mouth portrays a bad reputation of the EV experience which triggers EV manufacturing companies to work on the technologies being used in EV manufacturing to provide customers with more convenience to further boost EV sales in the country. The government also supports these initiatives as the shift to electricity-powered vehicles is inevitable.
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Potential Alternatives to Traditional Li-ion Batteries
Battery Technology has a long history. The Lead Acid batteries were one of the oldest batteries that existed and used on a large scale for various purposes. Even today lead acid batteries are used in gasoline-powered vehicles but they are not efficient enough to be used in an electric vehicle. Later lithium batteries took the lead and are largely used for various battery-powered devices from power backups, ups, mobile phones, laptops, and vehicles. However, the new India requires a new battery technology that will take a leap forward and outperform the existing battery technologies used by electric vehicle manufacturers. Some of the better alternatives are as follows-
- Sodium Ion Battery
Sodium is a cheaper alternative to lithium which can be extracted in large quantities from both the earth's crust and seawater. It also allows for the use of aluminium current collectors, reducing costs compared to lithium-ion batteries. Sodium-ion batteries are similar in construction to lithium-ion ones, making production adjustments easy, resulting in a 20%-30% cost reduction compared to lithium-ion batteries. These sodium-ion batteries don't have over-discharge issues, reducing fire hazards during transportation, and they offer faster charging times and potentially longer lifespans compared to lithium-ion batteries.
- Lithium-Sulphur Battery
Lithium-sulfur batteries are a promising EV battery technology with higher energy density than lithium-ion ones. They store more energy in less space, are cost-effective, and use sustainable materials. Researchers at the University of Texas created a lithium-sulfur battery storing four times the energy of an equivalent lithium-ion battery. It can effectively boost the range of electric vehicles which will make them an attractive alternative to traditional petroleum-based vehicles.
- Solid State Battery
A standout innovation in EV battery tech is solid-state batteries. They replace liquid gel electrolytes with solid ones, enhancing safety, efficiency, and durability. These batteries also offer higher energy density, packing more energy in the same space. Companies like Toyota and BMW are heavily investing in this new battery technology, with startups like Quantum Scape and Solid Power making notable strides. These solid-state batteries can become the way to go to revolutionise the automobile sector in India.
- Silicon Anode Battery
Anodes are a crucial battery component that determines energy storage capacity. Silicon anodes are a potential replacement for traditional graphite ones due to their higher energy density, allowing for more energy storage in the same space. However, silicon anodes tend to expand and contract during use, leading to degradation. Researchers are addressing this challenge to make silicon anodes feasible for EV batteries.
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Factors for Reliance of New Battery Technology for EVs
There are various factors which need to be considered to develop a new battery technology. These are derived from the challenges faced by EV consumers and support the sustainable development goals of the country. If these shortcomings are rectified in the batteries used by electric vehicles in India, it will be a game-changer move in the automobile industry as the sales of EVs in India will witness a steep rise. The reliance on new battery technology for EVs in India depends on the following factors-
- Energy Density
The first and foremost consideration is to reduce the size of the battery while also putting more power into it. The energy density is measured by the capacity of a battery to its size. The higher energy density will ensure the vehicle runs for a longer distance while also not compromising the size of the battery.
- Charging Times
The charging time of the battery is crucial for EV owners. The range of EVs is not enough to satisfy the needs of customers who travel a lot so charging vehicles mid-way becomes a major inconvenience. This hurdle has to be fixed if EV manufacturing companies want to scale up their sales. For this too a New EV Battery Technology may prove to be helpful.
- Control on Import
Currently, India imports a huge chunk of batteries to fulfil the needs of the consumers in the country and to supply the same to manufacturing units of electric vehicles. With the inception of new battery technology, we also have to ensure the technology supports the ingenious production of alternative batteries with the resources available in abundance in our country itself. Cutting imports will relieve the national economy and make EVs affordable.
The newer methods need to be affordable which will make electric vehicles available to the low-income group population of the country. This is crucial as the dream to shift to renewable energy sources for transport will stay a dream until the consumers themselves show interest in buying EVs and the price tag is of much importance for the majority of vehicle consumers.
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Government’s Support for New Battery Technology Development
The government is also committed to assisting the researchers in the development of a new reliable battery technology that will support the idea of sustainable development and reduce India’s reliability on import for batteries. The government is running some schemes and initiatives, out of those some significant ones are as follows-
- FAME India: The FAME India scheme, which stands for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles in India, is a government initiative to promote the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles in the country. It offers incentives and subsidies to manufacturers and buyers of electric vehicles to accelerate the transition to greener transportation options and reduce air pollution.
- Production Linked Incentives: The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for battery manufacturing is a government initiative in India that provides financial incentives to battery manufacturers to boost domestic production. This scheme aims to reduce India's dependence on imported batteries and promote the development of a self-reliant battery manufacturing ecosystem. Manufacturers meeting specified production and investment targets receive incentives to scale up battery production capacity in the country.
To conclude, we can say that India is on its way to transforming the landscape in the automobile industry. Electric Vehicles are the future and India is prepared for a smooth transition from traditional vehicles to vehicles running on renewable energy. There are challenges to counter and the concerned stakeholders are taking appropriate measures to ensure the production of batteries in India. The government is actively supporting battery manufacturing to take the nation on the path of sustainable growth by incentivising the production of batteries in India. Reducing India’s dependency on imports for EV manufacturing will further reduce the cost of electric vehicles and boost sales as a result which will benefit the whole automobile industry.
This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.
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