A new agreement on the first transfer of lithium-ion batteries has been signed between the government-run Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI) and RAASI Solar Power Pvt Ltd, an official statement said. The official statement from the Science and Technology Ministry also states that this MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) is the first of its kind for the country.
The native technology of lithium-ion cells has been developed by a group of scientists at the Council for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR)'s CECRI in Tamil Nadu's Karaikudi in partnership with CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, CSIR-Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata and CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, it said.
"CSIR-CECRI has set up a demo facility in Chennai to manufacture prototype lithium-ion cells. It has secured global IPRs with a potential to enable cost reduction, coupled with appropriate supply chain and manufacturing technology for mass production," it added.
The ministry also states that the original source of lithium-ion batteries for India are from China, Japan, South Korea and few other countries.
"India is one of the largest importers, and in 2017 it imported nearly $150 million worth lithium-ion batteries," it said
"Today's development is a validation of the capabilities of CSIR and its laboratories to meet technology in critical areas to support our industry, besides other sectors," said Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan.
"It will give a tremendous boost to two flagship programmes - generating 175 gigawatts (GW) by 2022, of which 100GW will be solar and the second, the National Electric Mobility Mission, to switch completely to electric vehicles by 2030," he added.
According to the MoU, the Raasi Group will most likely set up a manufacturing facility in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu.
"We want to bring down the cost of cell manufacturing below Rs 15,000 per KW to replace the lead acid battery," Raasi Group Chairman C.Narsimhan said in a statement.
"We also have plans to make the lithium-ion battery for solar rooftop with a lifespan of 25 years to make it affordable enough to drive the photovoltaic segment," he added.
The primary focus of these lithium-ion batteries is to replace lead-acid batteries. And lastly, these batteries can power electrical applications and can eliminate the necessity of wires.