A start-up has developed a novel battery which it claims can charge electric vehicles (EVs) in under 15 minutes, making them more affordable for the end users. The international patent pending technology is scalable, and is more efficient than the current lithium-ion (Li) based batteries, said Jubin Varghese, co-founder and CEO of Mumbai-based start-up Gegadyne Energy, which developed the battery. Batteries today cost up to 40 per cent of the total cost of electric vehicles (EV) and for the EVs to become more feasible for the end user, the cost of the battery has to come down along with a reduction in charge time. “By 2030, India aspires to achieve 100 per cent electric vehicles (EV) sales. A large chunk of the purchase price of an EV today is the battery. Therefore, India can potentially rise to the top in the battery manufacturing industry. Not only is this economically feasible, but also sustainable,” said Varghese.
At present, Lithium-ion (Li) is the major source of powering the EVs. Since 2006, when the demand for Li batteries in EVs had just come to fore, to 2016, EVs contributed 50 per cent of demand of Li batteries globally. However, these batteries take longer to charge and therefore, are not feasible to charge EVs, he said. The new technology combines the quick charging capability of supercapacitors with the high energy density of conventional batteries. It uses the concept of electrostatic charge storage & rapid kinetic Faraday reaction, said Varghese.
He said the goal is to have the first commercial iteration of the battery by 2020. “That’s when we believe the EV market will truly lighten up and we will have more players and more interesting tech in the market,” Varghese added.
The batteries are aimed to be a direct replacement for existing use cases and will be available in cylindrical, pouch and prismatic form, said Ameya Gadiwan, Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Gegadyne Energy. In a Lithium-Ion battery, the energy is stored in an electrochemical manner which leads to slow charging of the batteries and overall poor battery cycle life.
Compared to that, the new batteries designed by a team of researchers store energy in a combination of the electrostatic and electrochemical process which leads to longer battery cycle life—almost 50 times and faster charge time compared to conventional ones.
“We have working prototypes and battery packs for now which are verified by third-party and will begin pilot production of the battery cell in India within next 12 months,” said Gadiwan.
He said the price range of the battery pack will be on a par with lithium-ion battery. The company expects the prices to drop further as the economy of scale kicks in. Varghese added that electric vehicles are the main focus of the company. However, these batteries can be used in any other consumer devices, telecom towers, and stationary energy storage systems.