Union minister for Steel industry, Chaudhary Birender Singh at the inaugration of the 12th International Exhibition and Conference on Minerals Metals Metallurgy & Materials in New Delhi. (Image courtesy: Twitter, Chaudhary Birender Singh)
State-owned MOIL, one of the largest producer of manganese in the country is now looking to develop high-grade manganese for batteries, which could be used in electric vehicles (EVs), said Chaudhary Birender Singh, union minister for Ministry of Steel, according to PTI.
The report says that the research conducted by MOIL comes at a time when the government is aggressively pushing for electric vehicles to curb air pollution. Speaking at the international conference on minerals and metal sector organised by ITEI, Singh said, "Our focus should be on indigenisation and developing technologies and solutions specific to needs of India."
The ministry of power had earlier said the government was considering providing subsidy for setting up of charging infrastructure for EVs under a policy, however, the Power Secretary, A K Bhalla was of the view that it is a chicken and egg situation because charging stations would not be set up without enough EVs and the sales of the green vehicles would not pick up unless there is enough facility to charge these vehicles.
In October 2017, MOIL had been asked to look at contributing Manganese for use in batteries of electric vehicles (EV) and Tungsten for Defence Manufacturing. Commenting on the same Singh had said, “There is huge potential for e-rickshaws, e-tempos and e-cars in India, which MOIL must be prepared for harnessing. In fact, the company should innovate to find new uses of Manganese Ore, apart from steel making, dry cell batteries and paints. R&D efforts should aim for development of new technologies rather than updating or buying technologies from others. The company need to work on utilising every grade of ore gainfully including the lowest quality ore.”