IOC, Phinergy Collaborate To Form Metal-air Batteries

State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Israeli battery developer Phinergy on Wednesday formalised a joint venture to manufacture ultra-lightweight metal-air batteries for electric vehicles (EVs)

State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Israeli battery developer Phinergy on Wednesday formalised a joint venture to manufacture ultra-lightweight metal-air batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), a venture that got its first customers in Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland.

The equal joint venture will replace lithium with aluminum to make batteries that will charge faster and give a longer run.

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This will “help overcome most of the challenges facing EVs including range anxiety,” IOC Chairman S M Vaidya said.

“Al-Air technology will help us overcome most of the current challenges for e-Vehicles and address most of the potential customers’ pain-points, including range anxiety, higher cost of purchase, and safety issues.

“This technology will also boost India’s existing aluminum industry and help the nation become self-reliant in the energy field and promote the ‘Make in India’ drive,” he said.

IOC had in February last year acquired a minority stake in Phinergy Ltd. Now they have formed a joint venture, IOC Phinergy Pvt Ltd which will manufacture aluminum-air systems using mostly recycled aluminum.

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At a virtual event marking the event, Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland signed a letter of intent (LOIs) with the newly incorporated JV.

Founded in 2008, Phinergy develops an assortment of zero-emission batteries including aluminum-air and zinc-air batteries designed to offer power sources for electric cars.

The IOC and Phinergy joint venture will set up a factory in India to manufacture aluminum-air batteries for electric vehicles and stationary applications.

Aluminum is naturally available in India and its extraction and recycling technologies are also very well established.

Speaking on occasion, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the joint venture will help India in its journey towards clean, sustainable, affordable, safe and long-lasting energy options and facilitate much faster adoption of e-vehicles in the country.

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The minister said that based on domestically available aluminum, the joint venture plans to manufacture aluminum-air systems in the country, which will provide a boost Make in India.

Minister of Energy of Israel, Yuval Steinitz lauded the initiative, saying that this is indicative of increasingly close cooperation between the two countries.

Oil Secretary Tarun Kapoor said India’s energy demand is going to increase at a faster pace compared to the world, and the country is looking for a breakthrough in storage technology-batteries that are compact, cheaper, lighter and have higher energy density.

He described today’s initiative as pathbreaking.

 

Originally Published at Business Standard

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