Recently, the Indian Ambassador to Israel, Sanjeev Kumar Singla followed up on the progress on the MoU signed by IOCL and Phinergy. The partners have said that a proof of concept is progressing with Mahindra Electric to test out the metal-air batteries. They added their metal air battery on a Mahindra Treo electric auto.
Phinergy’s aluminium-air systems produce energy by combining metal, oxygen, and water. Oxygen is a key reactant releasing energy from metal. Unlike conventional batteries that carry oxygen within a heavy electrode, metal-air energy systems freely breathe oxygen from ambient air, making the systems significantly lighter.
Here are some advantages of Phinergy’s aluminium-air battery
- Matches the driving range of non-electric cars
- Reloads to full energy capacity in less than ~5 minutes
- Range is consistent, even in cold weather
- Lowers the costs of Electric Vehicles
Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, Cabinet Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel in the Government of India said,
"Happy to note that this collaboration of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. has helped to develop an e-mobility product by Phinergy for Mahindra Electric. Such innovative technologies are revolutionizing battery technologies & also have the potential to reduce energy import dependency of the country."
So Indian Oil continues to surprise us! Few months back we reported on how IOCL was setting up Electric vehicle charging stations at their petrol pumps. Now now they are even working on proof of concept project where their aluminium-air battery was used on a Mahindra Treo.
As of now we have no information on the commercialization of Mahindra electric products with Metal Air batteries. But this surely is a big step. Also we are seeing this in India which shows how important electric mobility is for IOCL. And that is good news, as a cash rich organization like IOCL pumping money into electric vehicles is a fantastic.
If the technology gets into production, this can be huge for India as aluminum is abundantly available in India and its extraction and recycling technologies are also very well established.
Even today, with lithium ion batteries, electric autos can replace noisy petrol or CNG autos all our cities. Unfortunately companies like Bajaj, TVS have a vice like grip on the pollution auto market and they don't want to seem to let go. Bajaj has delayed launching their electric auto, even though we have known for a fact that their RnD team has been working on it for past 3 years. Also in states like Maharashtras and Karnataka, there are strong anti e-Rickshaw lobbies.
As we are seeing with PhiEnergy's battery systems, technology is getting better everyday, but can our state governments start acting against vested corporates like Bajaj and TVS and promote these environment friendly vehicles?