Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) under Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully developed lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles. A new directive by the Indian government requests ISRO to share the technology with local automobile manufacturers for mass production. The information will be accessible even to private players, boosting production further. Also Read - Starlink satellite broadband service faces challenge in India, Elon Musk led company questionedAlso Read - Today's Google doodle is all about India's 'satellite man': Here's all you need to know
The indigenously manufactured batteries have successfully cleared multiple rounds of tests. ISRO has already used these batteries to power satellites and other space missions. Automobile manufacturers have had to import lithium-ion batteries making the final product expensive, and accessible only to a few. With the technology available locally, manufacturers can roll out cheaper, and more efficient electric vehicles. Also Read - ISRO joins hands with MapmyIndia to develop a Google Maps rival
The government gave a push to the new technology urging ISRO to commence production for automobiles. Early 2017 saw the roll-out of an electric two-wheeler prototype powered by the indigenous lithium-ion battery. ISRO also developed and delivered a lithium-ion battery unit prototype to Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) for testing at their Pune facility. While ARAI was expected to clear the batteries by end of 2016, the batteries are yet to arrive in the market.
ISRO has been approached by over a dozen automobile manufacturers for partnering and launching an electric vehicle with the lithium-ion battery. But the government has taken a new step, requesting ISRO to make the technology available to multiple private players instead of looking at a technology partnership. Mahindra Renault, Hyundai, Nissan, Tata Motors, High Energy Batteries, BHEL and Indian Oil are interested in indigenous production and have expressed an interest accordingly.
According to the government, sharing of manufacturing technology will aid mass production of batteries increasing competition and bringing down prices further. With development restricted to ISRO, volumes will continue to be low and pricing non-competitive owing to monopoly in the market. Bulk production can lower prices by up to 80 percent, making batteries feasible for the budget conscious Indian.
The government is looking at boosting the sale of electric vehicles to solve the problem of air pollution. Indian cities are besieged by air pollution with Delhi being among the top 10 most polluted cities worldwide. The Indian government has tried various measures to bring down pollution to no effect. In recent times, there has been a rise in sales of air purifiers, with bottled pure air entering the market too. The government is now relying on the appeal of budget electric vehicles to tackle the problem of pollution in the country. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2 Review: Let s clear the air