Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Sci & tech
- State-owned Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. has entered into a joint venture with Israel-based battery technology startup, Phinergy to develop aluminium-air technology based battery systems for electric vehicles and stationary storage, as well as hydrogen storage solutions.
- Top automakers, including Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland, have already signed letters of intent with the newly formed joint venture to commercially deploy the battery solutions produced by IOC Phinergy.
- Aluminium-air batteries are said to be a lower cost and more energy-dense alternative to lithium-ion batteries which are currently in widespread use for electric vehicles in India.
- Aluminium-air batteries utilise oxygen in the air which reacts with an aluminium hydroxide solution to oxidise the aluminium and produce electricity.
- Aluminium-air battery-based electric vehicles are expected to offer much greater range of 400 km or more per battery compared to lithium-ion batteries which currently offer a range of 150-200 km per full charge.
- The aluminium plate in an aluminium-air battery is converted into aluminium trihydroxide over time and that aluminium can be reclaimed from aluminium trihydroxide or even traded directly for industrial uses.
- Such batteries are also expected to be significantly cheaper than lithium-ion batteries, thereby reducing the cost of electric vehicle.
- They cannot be recharged like lithium-ion batteries.
- Therefore, large scale use of aluminium-air battery based vehicles would require the wide availability of battery swapping stations