Maybe, within the mad rush to launch a automobile available in the market, compromises have been made, or not sufficient focus has gone into – EV design, structure, engineering, security and many others., or improper selections have been made with regard to battery chemistry, or suppliers.
By Christie FernandezChange is difficult – thrilling for some, daunting for a lot of…I keep in mind many a long time in the past after we moved from a giant metropolis to a small city, our neighbours had been afraid that we had been utilizing a cooking fuel cylinder and that it may burst. However at this time, cooking fuel cylinders have turn into ubiquitous, and we now have learnt to reside with this hazard, by correct use and upkeep. We’ve got learnt to reside with many risks – automobiles, buses and trains that catch fireplace and even planes that crash.A number of years in the past, Private Mobility Units (PMDs) or e-scooters had been proliferating in Singapore, most of them imported from China. Sadly, a few of them caught fireplace whereas charging inside residences. The federal government instantly swung into motion, banned bikes that don’t conform to high quality requirements, and mandated gross sales of UL2272 high quality licensed PMDs. This motion by the federal government, decreased significantly fires associated to PMDs.Throughout my latest visits to India, I used to be glad to see much more electric vehicles plying on the roads. Maharashtra had many electrical buses, Tamil Nadu had electrical rubbish pickup autos and Uttar Pradesh had a proliferation of electrical rickshaws plying within the sizzling summer season temperature of over 42 levels Celsius / 107.6 levels Fahrenheit.Not too long ago, many incidents of electrical scooters catching fireplace have been blamed on the new climate. Because of this the EVs haven’t been engineered to deal with the Indian climate, highway situations or utilization. It’s improper guilty the electric drivetrain technology, or the batteries or the climate.Maybe, within the mad rush to launch a automobile available in the market, compromises have been made, or not sufficient focus has gone into – EV design, structure, engineering, security and many others., or improper selections have been made with regard to battery chemistry, or suppliers.Selecting the best battery chemistry for Indian situations, is the primary/finest step in lowering the incidence of battery fires.Battery chemistry
I’ve been a proponent of LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery chemistry for the Indian market. LFP batteries have a extra steady chemical make-up, with a excessive thermal runaway temperature of 270°C (518°F), in contrast with Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LCO) or Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) batteries which have a a lot decrease thermal runaway temperature of 150°C (302°F). LFP batteries are safer, cheaper and last more with 3000-plus cycles of charging, making it extra ultimate for Indian situations.In terms of selecting batteries or battery chemistry, not many have insights and so are inclined to go together with rumour, not realising that battery manufacturing takes near a decade to achieve maturity and business viability with regard to cost, high quality, provide chains, capability and many others. LFP batteries have been available in the market for lengthy. Their confirmed provide chains are steady (no cobalt / nickel /manganese), and are cheaper than most different battery chemistries. LFP batteries have decrease vitality density/kg. Nonetheless, battery packs and automobile right-sizing could make this a non-issue for a lot of use circumstances. Tesla, at this time makes use of LFP batteries in over 50% of its manufacturing, and clients couldn’t care much less.
High quality standardsAdhering to strict high quality requirements in automobile manufacturing, and designing battery packs with environment friendly cooling techniques, security options, and a top-notch BMS (Battery Administration System), can cut back battery fires significantly. Focus also needs to be on utilizing top quality wire harnesses, fuses and connectors. Charging / discharging of batteries must be monitored, and clients must be educated on finest practices.Electrical Automobiles can play a significant function in India’s prosperity and its individuals’s wellbeing. Points within the transition to electrical autos and clear vitality might be minimised by manufacturing and promoting EVs with excessive security requirements.India spends round USD 100 billion annually to import polluting fossil fuels. With electrical autos, the vitality required to energy EVs might be produced regionally, producing extra native jobs, and curb the outflow of valuable foreign exchange. As an alternative of oil exporting international locations getting wealthy, India can get richer.EVs don’t pollute the air wherever they go, and might be powered from renewable vitality sources, lowering air air pollution drastically, thus enhancing the well being of the individuals.Lithium import
Now the query arises about imports of Lithium, is it going to be just like fossil fuels? From being depending on Arabia, will we now be depending on China?In contrast to polluting fossil gasoline imports which find yourself in smoke, a giant benefit with Lithium batteries is that they are often recycled, and nearly 95% of the battery supplies might be recovered and reused to make batteries. This implies imports and mining for battery supplies will cut back over a time period. One other essential side most individuals are unaware of, is the truth that in a typical lithium battery, Lithium contains lower than 10% of the battery, and different battery supplies equivalent to Graphite, Iron, Manganese, Nickel, Aluminium and many others. might be sourced regionally.It’s a fantasy that China controls many of the lithium mines on this planet. Lithium is just not scarce, brine-based lithium sources are in numerous levels of improvement in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, China, and the US, and mineral-based lithium sources are being developed in Africa, Australia, South America, Canada, and Europe, in keeping with the US Geological Survey.Give attention to affordability
India shouldn’t be following the developed world on this transition to electrical autos. The developed world is concentrated on velocity, vary and quick charging, whereas the Indian market is concentrated on affordability.India needs to be right-sizing EVs to swimsuit the particular functions in a growing nation, and undertake a number of charging choices, together with swappable batteries and electrifying roads for wi-fi charging of EV’s on the transfer. By adopting a set+swappable battery structure, as pioneered by Sooorya EV, and standardising batteries, the dimensions of batteries might be decreased. This may enhance effectivity and cut back the price of EVs. Vary anxiousness additionally reduces tremendously with a number of charging choices.Alternate options to Lithium batteries will slowly emerge available in the market, together with hybrid lithium batteries, and steel air batteries. Indian Oil Company Restricted (IOCL) has a JV with Phinergy to arrange manufacturing amenities for Aluminium-Air Batteries, which can be utilized to recharge EV batteries, extending the vary of the automobile.India can be investing loads on renewable vitality – the feedstock is free and out there in abundance regionally. Renewable vitality might be utilised to cost EVs and recharge swappable batteries. This may usher in a brand new period of prosperity amongst rural communities too.That is the time for the federal government, industry gamers and EV startups to grab the brand new alternatives the EV know-how revolution presents, and to construct an ecosystem that advantages India, and the growing world.(Disclaimer: Christie Fernandez is the founding father of Sooorya EV Pte Ltd. Views are private.)