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Current Affairs

NITI Aayog proposes setting up Lithium-ion Giga Factories

Date: 03 July 2019 Tags: Energy

NITI Aayog has proposed the establishment of giga factories in India for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries in the next couple of years. The proposal is part of NITI Aayog’s push for the adoption of electric mobility in the country.

NITI Aayog’s Proposal

It recently had proposed that only electric (lithium-ion or other advanced battery chemistry only) three-wheelers will be sold in the country after March 31, 2023, and only electric two-wheelers below 150cc will be sold after March 31, 2025.

Industry opposition: However, this debated proposal to stop selling ICE (internal combustion engine) 150cc two-wheelers was strongly opposed by two-wheeler industry, cautioning that this move would disrupt the industry that was already reeling under stress. Industry has termed this proposal impractical and also pointed out that batteries, which were crucial part of electric vehicles, were expensive and not made in India.

Arguments for Lithium-Ion Giga Factories:  NITI Aayog held that this is sunrise industry and India needs to start building capabilities to become globally competitive player in this area. Current lack of domestic capability in this sector will cause massive imports from China for e-vehicles as is the case in electronics.

 

Li-Ion battery

It is type of rechargeable battery that contains several cells. Each cell consists of cathode, anode and electrolyte, separator or chemical called an electrolyte in between electrodes and current collectors.

Its positive electrode is typically made from chemical compound called lithium-cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) or lately lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) is used. The negative electrode is generally made from carbon (graphite) and electrolyte varies from one type of battery to another.

In this battery, lithium ions move from positive electrode to negative electrode during charging and negative electrode to positive electrode during discharge.

Working

During charging of battery: LiCoO2, positive electrode gives up some of its lithium ions, which move through electrolyte to negative, graphite electrode and remain there. The battery takes in and stores this electrical energy produced due to moving charge during this process.

During discharging of battery: Lithium ions move back across electrolyte to positive electrode, producing energy that powers battery.

Benefits of Li-Ion battery

  • It is light weighted and is one-third weight of widely used lead acid batteries.
  • It is nearly 100% efficient in both charging and discharging operations as compared to lead batteries which have 70% efficiency.
  • It completely discharges i.e. 100% as compared to 80% discharge rate for lead acid batteries.
  • It has life cycle of 5000 times or more compared lead acid batteries which have just 400-500 cycles.
  • During discharging cycle, it maintains constant voltage throughout whereas voltage in lead acid battery drops consistently during discharge cycle.
  • It does not have any adversarial environmental impact as lead acid battery, making much cleaner technology and is safer for environment.