The Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Raasi Solar Power signed a memorandum of agreement for transfer of technology for India’s first lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery project.
The agreement signed in Bangalore on June 9, 2018 by Dr Vijayamohan K. Pillai, director, CECRI and C Narasimhan, chairman and managing director of Raasi Group in the presence of union minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Dr Gopu Kumar headed a group at CSIR-CECRI for developing an indigenous technology of lithium-ion cells in partnership with CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) New Delhi, CSIR-Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CSIR-CGCRI) Kolkata and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) Hyderabad.
CSIR-CECRI have setup a demo facility in Chennai to manufacture the prototype lithium-ion cells, they have secured global IPRs, which it states has the potential to enable cost reduction, coupled with appropriate supply chain and manufacturing technology for mass production.
Currently, Indian manufacturers source lithium-ion battery from China, Japan and South Korea among other countries. India is among one of the largest importers and in 2017, it imported nearly $150 million (Rs 947 crore) worth of lithium-ion batteries.
“Today’s development is a validation of the capabilities of CSIR and its laboratories to meet technology in critical areas to support our industry, besides other sectors,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan. “It will give tremendous boost to two flagship programmes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – increasing the share of clean energy in the energy basket by generating 175 Giga Watts by 2022, of which 100 Giga Watts will be solar and the second, National Electric Mobility Mission, to switch completely to electric vehicles by 2030.”
According to the agreement, Raasi Group will set up the manufacturing facility in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu close to Bangalore. “We want to bring down the cost of cell manufacturing below Rs 15,000 per KW to replace lead acid battery,” said Narasimhan. “We also have plans to make lithium-ion battery for solar roof top with life span of 25 years to make it affordable enough to drive the Photo Voltaic segment.”