IIT-Madras incubated Grinntech unveils high-tech lithium-ion batteries for EVs

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 27 Aug 2020


IIT-Madras Research Park incubated start-up Grinntech, unveiled a range of high-tech batteries with unique designs customised to Indian conditions along with its proprietary, IoT-enabled BMS to power two-, three-wheelers and tractors/light vehicles.

This announcement marks the transformation to a funded commercial enterprise, enabling rapid adoption of EV technologies. The timing is particularly interesting. This is because the recent flurry of government incentives and a corresponding new EV launches announced by Indian manufacturers is likely to boost the rate of EV adoption in India.

It is recognised that battery technology (for range and performance) and battery cost will determine the speed of EV adoption by customers. The state-of-the-art Lithium-Ion batteries are themselves characterised by a wide range of chemistries, cell formats and battery pack design features, and require to be carefully managed during charging and while in use. Grinntech’s batteries offer the combination of design sophistication and quality to ensure superior performance and durability.

Nikhilesh Mishra and Puneet Jain, the co-founders of Grinntech pointed out that, “It was always our dream to create a technologically advanced Lithium–ion battery product-line that was built-to-cost for Indian conditions along with its production system. We are hopeful that we will catch the fast-growing wave for EV products by Indian customers.”

Grinntech has attracted industry leaders such as Dr V Sumantran (former Vice-Chairman of Ashok Leyland) and Lakshmi Narayanan (co-founder and former Vice-Chairman of Cognizant) as investors and to serve on the company’s Board of Directors.

Nikhilesh added, “When a technology stalwart like Lakshmi Narayanan and a visionary of mobility like Dr Sumantran join hands, I expect nothing less than building up Grinntech’s battery development and manufacturing capabilities to a position of industry leadership. Apart from affordable, high-quality batteries that employ customisable and superior thermal management, we anticipate EV makers and customers will soon require additional capabilities like battery performance analytics and connectivity. With our innovative product range and sophisticated IoT-enabled BMS systems, we are ready for this future.”

Commenting on this development, Dr V Sumantran said, “I am delighted to be a part of Grinntech’s journey at a time when EVs are rapidly gaining acceptance globally and in India, and particularly so at a time when our country has articulated a priority for self-reliance in critical EV technologies. In the coming years, market conditions will reward those EV battery makers that possess technological and operational competence. Grinntech’s combination of performance, quality and economics will play an important part in that journey.”

Lakshmi Narayanan added, “The future of energy is in renewables with significant potential for high growth. Digital technologies such as IoT and data analytics play a crucial role in enabling companies with newer business models to provide the much-needed connectedness, high performance and superior customer experience. It is heartening to see start-ups in India boldly embrace technology-driven solutions that can meaningfully address not just India’s challenges but also global ones.”

“Grinntech has quickly moved on to the operational phase with a modular production system, paying particular attention to cell-characterisation and pack testing. In addition to our new R&D and manufacturing facility in Chennai, we are exploring a couple of options for a larger manufacturing location to scale up our production capacity. With an innovative product range and planned new manufacturing facility, we believe we can boost the much-needed value addition and employment opportunities in India’s nascent EV industry,” explained Puneet Jain.

Grinntech’s new facility will manufacture Robin-72 and Shikhra smart and personalised two- and three-wheeler battery solutions using state-of-the-art automated processes and assembly lines. The facility will also manufacture Pintail an IOT-enabled 2-wheeler starter battery and the Falcon, a larger battery suited to tractors and light vehicles. The modular production layout will allow for easy scaling up as demand grows.