Sodion Energy's Bala Pachayappa: ‘We have a plan to set up our own facility to make cells locally in India.’ 

by Nilesh Wadhwa 02 Oct 2020

Coimbatore-based start-up aims to introduce the next generation of green, safe, and high-performance batteries for multiple applications. Sodium-ion battery chemistry is claimed to offer similar performance to lithium-ion, while also being cheaper and safer. An interview with Pachayappa Baladhandayuthapani, CEO, Sodion Energy.

Will you look at setting up your own manufacturing facility or partner other companies?
As a lean and agile start-up, we are open and flexible. Initially, we will be making cells through contract manufacturing but in the long run our fundraising efforts do include a plan to set up our own facility to make cells locally in India.

Which markets do you think the sodium-ion battery will see faster adoption?
Our first markets will be in the South Asia and South East Asia region, where we will look into all applications needing less than 10Kwh capacity.

How big is the team at Sodion Energy?
While Sodion Energy by itself is a small team, we are able to execute our commercialisation plans very quickly through extensive collaboration with our network of technology partners. If we include all the members involved, the entire team would comprise of over 150 people.

What will your business model be?
We plan to license control electronics and battery chargers to selected battery pack makers, supply the battery cell and provide additional support as needed. However, until we identify the right partners in pack making, we will be selling both pack and cells.

Any additional thoughts you would like to share?
NIBs offer a great opportunity to manufacture cells within any country as it doesn’t use cobalt, nickel or other rare materials. Most of the materials can be sourced locally.

This interview was first published in the August 15 issue.


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