Being one of the largest democracies of the world, India is all set to become the 5th largest economy and projected to achieve the U$30 Trillion by 2050. This growth will be driven by consumption, exports, industrialization, and urbanization. Fueling which, energy
will be a key component and available data points towards the requirement of minimum of 4X that of the 2018 levels. To protect the environment, we need to move beyond fossil fuels but unfortunately we can’t only depend on known forms of clean energy, wind, solar, hydro due to vagaries of nature. We need options for energy storage and fast to meet the steep renewable targets that are set by the government.
Given the urgency of situation where the demand for energy storage is huge across automotive, mission critical applications such as hospitals, hotels, datacenters etc., we need to look through microscopic lens to understand it better. With advances in chemistry and physical sciences we have learnt to store electricity for our consumption usually at smaller scale for UPS, car ignition, laptops, mobile phones among others through batteries. It is possible to now power a car, offices, homes, cities and towns with a combination of renewable energy and batteries, making our homes and cars emission free by use of stored electricity.
Understanding the Li-Ion battery chemistry
With that premise, the foremost task is to ensure an effective battery management, resulting in a safe and prolonged battery life. Battery composition has significantly evolved from lead – acid to nickel cadmium (NiCd) to Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and, now, latest Lithium ion (LiB) based batteries which can store larger energies in a lighter form amongst the other battery compositions. Each battery type has different weight, size resulting in different “energy density”, ability to charge & discharge repeatedly called “Cycles” and ‘Efficiency’ meaning losses during charge & discharge. And, this is how we have been getting lighter, better capacities and longer life batteries for our cell phones, earphones etc.
In simple terms, Lithium ion batteries come with higher energy density, are lighter and more efficient, occupy less space and have a longer life.
Opportunity that beckons
Electric Vehicles market is on a gradual rise as the government is offering isincentives in form of FAME, PLI, GST rate cuts and road tax waivers to name a few. This is a fantastic beginning and a step in the right direction to tap the gigantic opportunity that lies ahead.