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Batteries developed by Indian space agency could be used in electric vehicles

Batteries developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for satellite and launch vehicle applications may be used in electric vehicles in India.

ISRO supplied 50 Ah lithium-ion cells to the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). The use of the batteries in a prototype two-wheeler was successfully demonstrated in a Symposium on International Automotive Technologies (SIAT 2017) on 19th January, 2017.

The prototype uses a 48V, 50Ah lithium-ion battery, which can attain speeds of 40-50 kmph and can run up to 98 km once charged for 2 hrs. The press release states that the technology is ready for transfer to Indian industries for undertaking the production of Li-ion batteries.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a state-owned manufacturing company, has expressed interest in the technology.BHEL is India’s largest power plant equipment manufacturer.

In January 2013, the government issued a National Eletric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, which set a target of 6-7 million electric vehicles on the road (two-wheelers and four-wheelers) by 2020. Total automotive sales in India are projected to cross 5 million annually by 2020.

In April 2015, the current administration launched the FAME India Scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India) to support hybrid/electric vehicles market development and the manufacturing eco-system. The scheme has four areas of focus: Technology development, Demand Creation, Pilot Projects and Charging Infrastructure.

It is aimed at incentivising all vehicle segments, 2 Wheeler, 3 Wheeler Auto, Passenger 4 Wheeler Vehicle, Light Commercial Vehicles and Buses. It covers all variations of hybrid & electric technologies such as Mild Hybrid, Strong Hybrid, Plug in Hybrid & Battery Electric Vehicles.

Phase-I of the scheme was initially implemented over a period of 2 years, with an allocation of INR 750 million (~USD 12 million)  for FY 2015-16 and INR 1.2 billion for the subsequent year. About 99000 hybrid/electric vehicles were given direct support by way of demand incentives. Pilot projects, charging infrastructure projects and technological development projects were approved amounting to nearly INR1.55 billion. Phase-1 was extended in March 2017 by six months or the approval of phase-2, whichever came earlier.

Featured image: NOMADCC BY 2.0

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