What is the future of batteries and how can India become a leader in next-gen battery technology?
Battery technologies are set to play an important role in India’s future energy strategy. India is turning to electric vehicles despite lacking both technology and minerals to produce them, risking the spectre of Chinese domination in the process. India lacks the significant investment in cobalt mines globally that China has, in order to acquire the elements needed for lithium-ion batteries.
India has recently starting venturing into the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries through a recent policy push from the government.
At the same time, India has made significant global commitments to move towards greater use of renewable energy. It is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, but it does not have any indigenous, private sector, battery manufacturers. At least part of this reason has been a lack of effective government tax incentives, much of which have been addressed in the new FAME 2 framework.
But there are newer battery technologies on the horizon, for which India is an untapped market. Sodium-ion batteries and related alkali- and earth-alkali-metal batteries are being developed and commercialised globally.
There are several pull factors that will help develop the market for newer battery technologies in the coming decade in India: the government is a global leader in a move towards more renewable energy, sodium-ion batteries are suited to storing surpluses, the two-wheeler market is growing rapidly, the government plan to build four Tesla-style giga factories to manufacture batteries with investment of US$4 billion.
But equally, there are factors pulling the sector in the other direction: the lithium-ion market dominated by few major players, the government’s last push towards battery technology uptake skewed incentives towards two-wheelers, auto market sales are falling, and newer battery tech is not yet championed by the government.
London-based think tank Bridge India, and Faradion, the world leader in non-aqueous sodium-ion cell technology, are organising this invite-only event in Bangalore on 27 November 2019, to discuss the latest trends in battery technology and what the coming decade of innovation in the sector looks like for India.