Hindalco, Phinergy and IOP join forces to make aluminium-air batteries for EVs and energy storage

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 19 Jul 2022


Hindalco Industries, Aditya Birla Group’s metals flagship, has signed an MoU with Phinergy, the leading Israel-based pioneer in metal-air battery technology, and IOC Phinergy (IOP), a joint venture between Phinergy and India's leading energy PSU Indian Oil Corporation. As per the MOU, Phinergy and IOP will partner exclusively with Hindalco in India, on R&D and pilot production of aluminium plates for aluminium-air batteries, and recycling of aluminium, after usage in these batteries.

In the Aluminium-Air battery, developed by Phinergy, energy is released when aluminium reacts with oxygen in ambient air to produce aluminium hydroxide. Due to its light weight and high energy density, an Aluminium-Air battery significantly increases the driving range of Electric Vehicles. It also enables quick ‘refuelling’ and eliminates the need for expensive nationwide charging networks. Aluminium-air batteries are expected to make EV adoption more convenient, and accelerate the transition to zero emission mobility. An added benefit is that aluminium hydroxide in the battery can be recycled to recover aluminium. The leading automobile manufacturers in India are currently testing the technology.

Speaking about the partnership, Satish Pai, MD, Hindalco Industries said, “Climate action is integral to our business and our partnership with Phinergy and IOP is a significant step towards decarbonising mobility. The partnership is also a testament to Hindalco’s globally recognised capabilities in innovation and R&D and we are happy to contribute to the development of the Aluminium-Air battery. India has an abundance of aluminium resources and this technology can help enhance the nation’s energy and resource security.”

David Mayer, CEO, Phinergy, said, “Phinergy strongly believes Aluminium-Air batteries will contribute to the clean energy revolution in India. The partnership with Hindalco, a global aluminium industry leader, is a major step in the deployment of Aluminium-Air batteries in India and we are confident this collaboration will significantly enhance the development of an ecosystem enabling to supply “aluminium as energy” made in India. “

Sanjeev Gupta, Chairman, IOP, said, "IOP was incorporated with the objective of commercialisation and manufacturing of Aluminium-Air energy systems in India to strengthen India's energy security. Aluminium is abundantly available in India and its usage as an energy storage medium through this novel technology has the potential to contribute immensely to Atmanirbhar Bharat. This partnership with Hindalco is a big step towards catalysing our efforts to develop a favourable ecosystem for faster dissemination of the Aluminium-Air battery technology. The collaboration will propel India's aspirational journey towards sustainable, affordable and safe energy options for stationary and e-Mobility purposes".

The EV market, which would be the primary segment for Aluminium-Air batteries, is projected to achieve cumulative sales of 80 million units by 2030, according to a joint report by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and NITI Aayog. Aluminium-Air batteries offer a viable alternative to other battery chemistries and will boost the domestic manufacturing of batteries to meet India’s growing demand for energy storage.

It may be recollected that in January 2021, Autocar Professional had broken the news that the IOCL and Phinergy have been testing the al-air batteries in Mahindra Treo electric three-wheeler. 

All images courtesy: Phinergy

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