The battery-powered disruptor

Greenfuel Energy Solutions is planning to shake up the EV battery market with the launch of a portfolio of specially engineered, long-life batteries for e2ws.

By Chandan B Mallik calendar 19 Apr 2024 Views icon2923 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Greenfuel Energy Solutions, a clean mobility and energy storage solutions provider, is slowly gaining ground in the EV battery business. Founder and Managing Director Akshay Kashyap highlighted that in a price-conscious market like India, battery chemistry and low costs are two crucial considerations for EV battery makers, but there’s a thin line that separates what’s being sold in the market. Catering to the rapid growth of e2ws and e3ws in the past few years, there are now over 100 battery manufacturers or suppliers that assemble or engineer battery packs for OEMs.

Of the two of the more commonly used lithium-ion chemistries available — Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) and Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) — Kashyap said his company prefers the former chemistry as it offers better results when engineered efficiently. The lifespan of these batteries can vary between 3 to 5 years depending on quality and design chemistry.

Greenfuel Energy Solutions has been closely monitoring the e2w and e3w business space that commands 85% and 15% of market share, respectively. The company has decided to focus more on the growing e3w business, as it moves forward. While the e2w segment is growing just as well, Kashyap wants to bat for “better engineered” batteries as opposed to “cheaply assembled” ones that power most e2ws.

“There are too many suppliers of EV batteries in the e2w market. There’s evidence of mass produced or assembled battery solutions that are made of low-grade cells, are unreliable in performance and can be unsafe. We’re not willing to compete in this volume segment but would rather focus on premium engineered battery solutions,” explained Kashyap, whose logic is supported by the fact that many insurance and finance firms still grapple with costs and risk insurance premiums for EVs.

The second reason, he said, is that most OEMs in the e2w business build their own battery packs, which means that the scope for independent battery makers is shrinking, and competition is extremely high due to the number of suppliers catering to this market division.

Moreover, as part of their marketing and business strategy, Greenfuel Energy Solutions is looking to find its niche in the EV battery business. Kashyap indicated that the company had planned to roll out what they called “long life EV batteries” for e2ws.

“These batteries would have more than 3.5x the productive life compared to batteries in the market, and even at high temperatures of 45°C, they are capable of 3,000 cycles versus 800 cycles of the regular batteries in the market,” he said. “We have developed long life battery products through investments in R&D. In terms of battery chemistry, we prefer to work on NMC setups, and are confident that these batteries will offer at least 8 years of productive working life.” The company has co-developed battery products with OEMs, as each company has its specific requirements. Kashyap is confident that the launch of their long life EV battery range will give them a distinctive advantage in this highly competitive market segment.

Expanding battery portfolio 

While Greenfuel Energy Solutions is reworking its business strategy and focusing on specific areas, they are also looking at higher voltage battery products for different applications. Kashyap said they have developed the technology in-house and are fully capable of offering customised battery solutions to OEMs. Plus, they raised their capital expenditure to Rs 60 crore from Rs 50 crore in 2023, and expect a turnover of Rs 150 crore, Kashyap added. At present, the company makes 48V and 72V batteries at its Jhajjar unit in Haryana and will assess the demands for higher voltage solutions.

Aftermarket possibilities

Recognising the upcoming need for battery replacements and recycling, Greenfuel Energy Solutions is studying aftermarket possibilities and plans to capitalise on these opportunities in
the future.

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