With electric vehicles fast becoming the new reality, Union Minister for MSME, Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has stressed the need to emerge as pioneers in developing leading battery and power-train technologies, a press release by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways said.
Noting that the challenge we presently face is the control on strategic reserves of Lithium, which is used to manufacture Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Minister has called upon the EV sector to shift towards a completely indigenous battery technology in the coming years. This could be metal-air, metal-ion and other potential technologies in the research and development pipeline.
Pointing out the need to achieve the goal of Atma Nirbhar Bharat in Transport Sector, Nitin Gadkari said that it is necessary to dedicate the coming years to rigorous research and development of such alternative battery technologies with the support of our Institutions of Eminence (IoEs), industry, scientists, engineers and the government.
Earlier in January, India discovered its maiden lithium reserves discovery in the igneous rocks located in the Margalla-Allapatna region of Karnataka's Mandya district.
Though the discovery is very small in size in the present and stands at only 1,600 tones of lithium, it marks an initial success for the nation's attempts to domestically mine the metal in India, given the nation presently meets all its lithium demand and needs by means of imports.
In November 2020, the Union Cabinet had approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for 10 “key sectors”, including telecom, electronics, solar PV and advanced chemistry cell (ACC) battery manufacturing.
The PLI scheme for the battery sector (ACC) is aimed at primarily incentivizing manufacturing of newer technology batteries, starting with Lithium ion. ACC batteries are rechargeable batteries that can be used in consumer electronics, electric vehicles and renewable energy.
The PLI scheme for the battery sector (ACC) received an impressive allocation of Rs 18,100 crores.